Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
07-16-2013, 07:05 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-16-2013, 07:06 AM by mexika.)
#1
New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
I take my herbal vitamins everyday as opposed to those taking pharma pills full of who knows what? The more natural, the better for the analysis, the more pharma, the crazier the CEO and puppets. These people are not even up to par on the health scale so how can Obama Care be anything worth implementing.
=========================================

Recent studies by psychologists and social scientists in the US and UK suggest that contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, those labeled “conspiracy theorists” appear to be saner than those who accept the official versions of contested events.

The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled “What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.

The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

Perhaps because their supposedly mainstream views no longer represent the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often displayed anger and hostility: “The research… showed that people who favoured the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals.”

Additionally, it turned out that the anti-conspiracy people were not only hostile, but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. According to them, their own theory of 9/11 – a conspiracy theory holding that 19 Arabs, none of whom could fly planes with any proficiency, pulled off the crime of the century under the direction of a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan – was indisputably true. The so-called conspiracists, on the other hand, did not pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11: “For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account.”

In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist – a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory – accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.

Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists. It also found that the so-called conspiracists to not like to be called “conspiracists” or “conspiracy theorists.”

Both of these findings are amplified in the new book Conspiracy Theory in America by political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, published earlier this year by the University of Texas Press. Professor deHaven-Smith explains why people don’t like being called “conspiracy theorists”: The term was invented and put into wide circulation by the CIA to smear and defame people questioning the JFK assassination! “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.”

In other words, people who use the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” as an insult are doing so as the result of a well-documented, undisputed, historically-real conspiracy by the CIA to cover up the JFK assassination. That campaign, by the way, was completely illegal, and the CIA officers involved were criminals; the CIA is barred from all domestic activities, yet routinely breaks the law to conduct domestic operations ranging from propaganda to assassinations.

DeHaven-Smith also explains why those who doubt official explanations of high crimes are eager to discuss historical context. He points out that a very large number of conspiracy claims have turned out to be true, and that there appear to be strong relationships between many as-yet-unsolved “state crimes against democracy.” An obvious example is the link between the JFK and RFK assassinations, which both paved the way for presidencies that continued the Vietnam War. According to DeHaven-Smith, we should always discuss the “Kennedy assassinations” in the plural, because the two killings appear to have been aspects of the same larger crime.

Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed “conspiracy theory” label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief.

In the same issue of ABS, University of Buffalo professor Steven Hoffman adds that anti-conspiracy people are typically prey to strong “confirmation bias” – that is, they seek out information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, while using irrational mechanisms (such as the “conspiracy theory” label) to avoid conflicting information.

The extreme irrationality of those who attack “conspiracy theories” has been ably exposed by Communications professors Ginna Husting and Martin Orr of Boise State University. In a 2007 peer-reviewed article entitled “Dangerous Machinery: ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion,” they wrote:

“If I call you a conspiracy theorist, it matters little whether you have actually claimed that a conspiracy exists or whether you have simply raised an issue that I would rather avoid… By labeling you, I strategically exclude you from the sphere where public speech, debate, and conflict occur.”

But now, thanks to the internet, people who doubt official stories are no longer excluded from public conversation; the CIA’s 44-year-old campaign to stifle debate using the “conspiracy theory” smear is nearly worn-out. In academic studies, as in comments on news articles, pro-conspiracy voices are now more numerous – and more rational – than anti-conspiracy ones.

No wonder the anti-conspiracy people are sounding more and more like a bunch of hostile, paranoid cranks.


By Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07/12/313399/conspiracy-theorists-vs-govt-dupes/
Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son


http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=277...enous&hl=en
Reply
07-16-2013, 10:23 PM,
#2
RE: New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
[Image: ostrich_head_in_sand.jpg]

Ostriches, the true conservatives of our species Smile
Reply
07-20-2013, 08:03 AM,
#3
RE: New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
Is a conspiracy still a conspiracy when it becomes public knowledge?

Interesting article. I'm curious as to whether it was truly the number of comments counted, or different users posting the comments. A minor point compared to the notion that anti-conspiracy enthusiasts are less rational than their counterparts, but still one of academic interest I would say.
Truth appears in many forms. Find those that resonate with you.

- "If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise, we do not believe in it at all." - Noam Chomsky
- "Humans are not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one." - Leon Festinger

http://avaaz.org - The World In Action
Reply
07-20-2013, 10:38 AM,
#4
RE: New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
the comeback:

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/revenge-of-the-conspiracy-theorists/

Revenge of the Conspiracy Theorists
Published by Steven Novella under Conspiracy Theories,Skepticism
Comments: 9

Skeptics have their work cut out for them. We are up against irrational forces that are becoming very savvy at turning the language and superficial tactics of science and skepticism against science and reason. We are not just debating details of evidence and logic, but wrangling with fully-formed alternate views of reality.

An excellent example of this was recently brought to my attention – an article using published psychological studies to argue that conspiracy theorists represent the mainstream rational view while “anti-conspiracy people” are actually the “paranoid cranks.” The article, by Dr. Kevin Barrett (Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist) in my opinion nicely reflects how an ideological world-view can color every piece of information you see.

He starts out reviewing an article by Wood and Douglas which examined the comments to news articles about topics that are the subject of conspiracy theories. Barrett summarizes the study this way:

In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist – a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory – accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.

The article actually suggests nothing of the sort. Barrett cherry picks what he wants to see from this article and draws conclusions that are not supported by the evidence. The authors of the study found that comments to conspiracy news items were approximately 2/3 pro-conspiracy and 1/3 anti-conspiracy. Barrett concludes from this:

That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

This is simply not justified from this data. Barrett assumes that the number of comments reflects the relative percentage of believers in the population, but it is possible (and very likely) that pro-conspiracy people simply comment more, perhaps due to greater passion for their beliefs.

Barrett makes no mention of polls or surveys that more directly get at the question of what percentage of the population believe to some degree in a conspiracy. For 9/11 there have been a number of different surveys conducted in various ways with a range of outcomes, but in all of them, believers in a 9/11 conspiracy are in the minority.

Barrett also ignores the many other conclusions of the paper. They write:

In accordance with our hypotheses, we found that conspiracist commenters were more likely to argue against the opposing interpretation and less likely to argue in favor of their own interpretation, while the opposite was true of conventionalist commenters. However, conspiracist comments were more likely to explicitly put forward an account than conventionalist comments were. In addition, conspiracists were more likely to express mistrust and made more positive and fewer negative references to other conspiracy theories. The data also indicate that conspiracists were largely unwilling to apply the “conspiracy theory” label to their own beliefs and objected when others did so, lending support to the long-held suggestion that conspiracy belief carries a social stigma. Finally, conventionalist arguments tended to have a more hostile tone. These tendencies in persuasive communication can be understood as a reflection of an underlying conspiracist worldview in which the details of individual conspiracy theories are less important than a generalized rejection of official explanations.

The main findings of the study, therefore, are that conspiracy theorists base their opinions largely on an “underlying conspiracist worldview” rather than the specific details of any case. They are not able to put forward and defend a specific alternate theory, but rather are primarily interested in contradicting the official story, whatever that happens to be. This is in line with conventional criticism of conspiracy theorists.

The one new finding here is that those defending the conventional view tended to be more hostile than the conspiracy theorists in online comments. The subculture of comments to news articles is still a new phenomenon, and so it is difficult to draw confident conclusions from such observations. However, this does fit with the general skeptical experience. Conspiracy theorists and true believers generally can be infuriating and frustrating in their illogic and style of argument, leading the novice to become agitated and hostile. This, of course, is then used to discredit those defending the conventional view, as Barrett is doing here.

I have discussed this before as a core dilemma for the practicing skeptic. Passion in the defense of science and reason is a good thing, as is uncompromising firmness in the opposition to pseudoscience and irrationality. But that passion can easily be perceived or misrepresented as fanaticism, and used to discredit the scientific view. It is for that reason, in my opinion, that skeptics are best served by making a conscious effort to remain dispassionate in their public discourse, or at least to keep that passion positive – being pro-science rather than anti-pseudoscience.

In another bit of reality-bending, Barrett writes:

Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists.

I’m convinced that anything can be twisted in a positive or negative way (just read political news stories). Conspiracy theorists believe they are putting events into “historical context” while conspiracy critics might say they are making leaps of logic in order to create the illusion of connections where none exist. In fact, conspiracy thinking is largely about seeing patterns where they do not truly exist – patterns in events that may be unconnected or only loosely connected in a generic cultural/historical fashion.

Barrett goes on to cite 9/11 truthers as if they are objective scholars. For example, he writes about Lauri Manwell’s work:

Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed “conspiracy theory” label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief.

Her work has been widely cited by 9/11 conspiracy theorists. What she is actually doing in her papers is simply discussing generic psychological studies discussing phenomena such as cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias and then applying them to those who resist 9/11 conspiracy theories. Manwell, however, makes it sound as if these psychological features are specific to those who are skeptical of conspiracy theories, and Barrett repeats this folly. It’s nonsense.

In one paper Manwell writes, for example:

You begin to wonder, why are some people less willing to examine all the events of 9/11 than others? Is it really because they are obstinate or in denial? Is it because they are apathetic or judiciously lazy? Or perhaps it is because they are uninformed or purposefully misinformed. Are there other explanations?

Manwell appears to be coming from an assumption that those who doubt a conspiracy surrounding the events of 9/11 are simply wrong or not aware of all the facts. She seems to assume, in fact, that the evidence points to a conspiracy, and therefore those who doubt it must be laboring under some psychological baggage or misinformation.

The alternate possibility – that some people who are skeptical of a 9/11 conspiracy have thoroughly examined the evidence and arguments and found them to be wanting – does not even seem to occur to Manwell.

Partly she, and by extensive Barrett, are arguing against the average person who is reflexively dismissive of a 9/11 conspiracy (with good reason, for it is absurd on its face), rather than addressing those who have carefully examined the evidence and arguments of the conspiracy theorists and systematically dismantled them. They are addressing the weakest form of opposition to their position rather than the strongest. They do this by referring to general cognitive biases as if they are specific to those who disagree with them, or are somehow an explanation for resistance to their crackpot theories.

Conclusion

The article by Barrett, like conspiracy theories in general, seems to occupy a bizarro world in which the rules of logic and evidence have all been turned on their head. In Barrett’s world conspiracy theorists are rationally evidence-based, while skeptics are falling prey to cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.

Hidden in his tortured logic, however, are some lessons for skeptics. It is important to keep focused on facts and logic, rather than using psychological arguments to discredit believers. Psychological arguments can cut both ways, and too easily fall prey to confirmation bias themselves.

Understanding cognitive biases are important to understanding our own thoughts and beliefs, but are unwieldy as weapons against others. Even when true, they do not make for compelling arguments.

Rather, a dispassionate analysis of evidence and logic is the most objective approach. The dilemma for skeptics, however, is this – is it the most effective in persuading others? Emotional appeals seem to be more effective than facts and logic, but when we stoop to passionate or emotional arguments we sacrifice the appearance of objectivity.

We therefore have to strike a delicate balance. This takes years of practice, in my experience, and is not something I would expect from random commenters to online news.
“The truth, of course, is that a billion falsehoods told a billion times by a billion people are still false.” Travis Walton
Reply
07-20-2013, 12:25 PM,
#5
RE: New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
(07-20-2013, 10:38 AM)Frank2 Wrote: Manwell appears to be coming from an assumption that those who doubt a conspiracy surrounding the events of 9/11 are simply wrong or not aware of all the facts.
That is fact and not an assumption. Regardless of what your beliefs are 9/11 WAS a conspiracy, be it the government allowing it to happen, the government making it happen, or the lunatic in a cave in Afghanistan conspiring with his so called pilots. ( LIHOP, MIHOP, Official Story )
[Image: Signature2.gif]
Reply
07-20-2013, 08:26 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-20-2013, 08:29 PM by Frank2.)
#6
RE: New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
Insanely skilled for amateur pilots
“The truth, of course, is that a billion falsehoods told a billion times by a billion people are still false.” Travis Walton
Reply
07-20-2013, 11:47 PM,
#7
RE: New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile
(07-20-2013, 08:26 PM)Frank2 Wrote: Insanely skilled for amateur pilots

ATC Danielle O'Brien regarding flight 77 Wrote:"The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane."
source
[Image: Signature2.gif]
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
Information HOW TO MAKE SENSE OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES nofunclub 8 376 07-13-2014, 09:53 PM
Last Post: pax681
  Bikers driving to Mexico to free Marine because the government won't. April 7 390 06-14-2014, 03:54 AM
Last Post: mexika
Lightbulb Is It Time for American Citizens to Stop Paying Taxes and Start a New Government? FastTadpole 32 6,590 04-16-2014, 04:10 AM
Last Post: hilly7
  Violently Overthrow The Government - by Chris Cantwell April 16 911 04-02-2014, 08:51 PM
Last Post: mexika
  The Architects Of Free Trade Really Did Want A Corporate World Government mexika 0 302 02-26-2014, 09:10 PM
Last Post: mexika
  Conspiracy theories? No one does it better than West’s elite mexika 0 215 11-14-2013, 05:28 PM
Last Post: mexika
  The NWO Conspiracy Inside the 9/11 Conspiracy Could Be Closer To The Truth mexika 5 472 09-14-2013, 03:06 AM
Last Post: Orwell63
  NSA Spying: The Three Pillars of Government Trust Have Fallen mexika 2 410 08-19-2013, 11:16 PM
Last Post: mexika
  Government under Investigation Frank2 0 361 06-11-2013, 04:28 PM
Last Post: Frank2
  Do All Conspiracy Theories Boil Down To A Grand Zionist Plot? arieh1983 79 8,306 02-04-2013, 09:22 PM
Last Post: mexika

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)