Multinational data show that conspiracy beliefs are associated with the perception (and reality) of poor national economic performance

Hornsey, MatthewJ.H.
Pearson, Samuel
Kang, Jemima
Sassenberg, Kai
Jetten, Jolanda
Van Lange, Paul A.M.
Medina, Lucia G.
Amiot, Catherine E.
Ausmees, Liisi
Baguma, Peter
Barry, Oumar
Becker, Maja
Bilewicz, Michal
Castelain, Thomas
Costantini, Giulio
Dimdins, Girts
Espinosa, Agustín
Finchilescu, Gillian
Friese, Malte
González, Roberto
Goto, Nobuhiko
Gómez Jiménez, Ángel
Halama, Peter
Ilustrisimo, Ruby
Jiga-Boy, Gabriela M.
Karl, Johannes
Kuppens, Peter
Loughnan, Steve
Markovikj, Marijana
Mastor, Khairul A.
McLatchie, Neil
Novak, Lindsay M.
Onyekachi, Blessing N.
Peker, Müjde
Rizwan, Muhammad
Schaller, Mark
Suh, Eunkook M.
Talaifar, Sanaz
Tong, Eddie M.W.
Torres, Ana
Turner, Rhiannon N.
Vauclair, Christin Melanie
Vinogradov, Alexander
Wang, Zhechen
Yeung, Victoria Wai Lan
Bastian, Brock
While a great deal is known about the individual difference factors associated with conspiracy beliefs, much less is known about the country-level factors that shape people's willingness to believe conspiracy theories. In the current article we discuss the possibility that willingness to believe conspiracy theories might be shaped by the perception (and reality) of poor economic performance at the national level. To test this notion, we surveyed 6723 participants from 36 countries. In line with predictions, propensity to believe conspiracy theories was negatively associated with perceptions of current and future national economic vitality. Furthermore, countries with higher GDP per capita tended to have lower belief in conspiracy theories. The data suggest that conspiracy beliefs are not just caused by intrapsychic factors but are also shaped by difficult economic circumstances for which distrust might have a rational basis ​
This document is licensed under a Creative Commons:Attribution - Non commercial (by-nc) Creative Commons by-nc4.0