Jigsaw, a research unit within Google, is regularly publishing research articles that explore the inner workings of conspiracy theories, and maybe even more importantly; conspiracy theorists. Because you can’t understand social phenomena, without understanding what drives the people involved. At TrendsActive this sounds like music to our ears. With the help of anthropologists, the researchers set out to get a comprehensive understanding of the experience of people that were lost in conspiracy theories. Some interesting findings from the issue include:
- 17% of Americans believe the idea of man-made global warming is a hoax that was invented to deceive people.
- In 2020, researchers found that more than 40% of Americans endorsed at least one of eight conspiracy theories.
- Even though it appears that conspiracy theories are much more rampant with plenty of recent examples (Qanon, stolen election, anti-vaxxers), several analyses actually indicate that belief in conspiracy theories has remained remarkably stable over the last decades (in America at least). “Rather than an explosion of new belief, technology may instead be driving greater awareness of fringe beliefs that have been with us all along.”
If you want to dive deeper into what drives conspiracy theorists and how people lose themselves into this world (and get themselves out again), you should absolutely read their latest issue.
*Image credits Jigsaw