Research by Psychology Professors Referenced in the New York Times

Research by Psychology Professors, Karen Douglas and Robbie Sutton has been referenced in an op-ed for the New York Times, in regards to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The NY Times article authored by Thomas B Edsall focuses on why millions of Americans continue to actively participate in multiple conspiracy theories.

The research paper, ‘Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories‘ by Kent Psychology Professors, Karen Douglas and Robbie Sutton found that a large percentage of people drawn to conspiracy thinking are willing to endorse “mutually incompatible conspiracy theories.”

“People are attracted to conspiracy theories when important psychological needs are not being met.” – Professor Karen Douglas

Douglas identifies three such needs: “the need for knowledge and certainty”; the “existential need” to “feel safe and secure” when “powerless and scared”; and, among those high in narcissism, the “need to feel unique compared to others.”

Read the full article in the New York Times