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Paper On Conspiratorial Thinking Invokes Conspiratorial Thinking 371

Layzej writes "Last summer a paper investigating the link between conspiratorial thinking and the rejection of climate science provoked a response on blogs skeptical of the scientific consensus that appeared to illustrate the very cognitive processes at the center of the research. This generated data for a new paper titled 'Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation (PDF).' The researchers reviewed the reactions for evidence of conspiratorial thinking, including the presumption of nefarious intent, perception of persecution, the tendency to detect meaning in random events, and the ability to interpret contrary evidence as evidence that the conspiracy is even greater in scope that was originally believed. Some of the hypotheses promoted to dismiss the findings of the original paper ultimately grew in scope to include actors beyond the authors, such as university executives, a media organization, and the Australian government. It is not clear whether the response to this paper will itself provide data for further research, or how far down this recursion could progress. I fear the answer may be 'all the way.'"
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Paper On Conspiratorial Thinking Invokes Conspiratorial Thinking

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  • Re:Can't win (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:55AM (#42806973)

    Not true, they explicitly state that they are not investigating the validity or not of any of the criticisms of the first paper. They are measuring psychological indicators of conspiracy thinking. Even the most out there obsessed conspirac theorist could be right, and this paper doesn't deny that.

  • by Vintermann ( 400722 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:08AM (#42807035) Homepage

    The sixties would be a late time to come with that prediction/accusation. Keep America Beautiful, arguably the first corporate environmental front group, was founded in order to preempt and oppose laws restricting disposable products - in 1953.

  • Re:Yada Yada Yada (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:48AM (#42807201)

    You're interpreting this the exact wrong way. They found a link. There's nothing wrong with that. And they didn't cry "foul" (fixed that for you). They made another research paper that actually *SUPPORTED* their original paper. They didn't say all climate skeptics are conspiratorial nuts. They just said conspiratorial nuts are climate skeptics as well. That shouldn't be taken as offense by climate skeptics, unless you are indeed a conspiratorial nut.

  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:07AM (#42807315) Homepage Journal

    That does happen. Anytime I point out what looks like price fixing, or market divying, there's always someone that says "stop being a conspiracy theorist".

    I don't know about what you've pointed out, but it's very common that people point to something and call it price fixing when there's a clear and simple non-collusive market explanation for what's going on. Further, it's often likely that there is some more subtle dynamic that explains the apparent synchronicity of price changes or market division even when there is no clear and simple explanation. So while price fixing and market divvying do happen, there's a good chance that you often are being a conspiracy theorist, because they appear to happen more often than they really occur.

  • by DigitalSorceress ( 156609 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:52AM (#42807599)

    So, in the course of reading the article on ElReg, I noticed that the folks denying climate change are being referred to as "Skeptical".

    I get it - being "skeptical" of something means that you are not taking it at face value - that you dispute it.

    However, there's also the self-identified "Skeptical Movement" nowadays which consists of a lot of great folks who are trying to introduce science-based thought and skepticism / critical thinking.

    I'm talking about folks like Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame), Phil Plait (of "Bad Astronomy"), Brian Duning's Skeptoid, The Skeptic's guide to the Universe,, the James Randi Educational Foundation, QackCast, and many many more...

    Real science-based medicine and thinking... and to see "Skeptical" with a capitol S, I think of these folks and having the word used to refer to conspiracy nuts and climate deniers... well, it just feels like the same kind of co-opting that happened to the "hacker" monicker.

    I guess I just wanted to get the word out that while the climate deniers and conspiracy nuts may be "skeptical" of climate change and such, they're not representative of "the Skeptical Movement" which is all about critical thinking and science-based approach to life, the universe, and everything.

  • by deanklear ( 2529024 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @10:49AM (#42808217)

    The entire world economy recently fell apart because information was kept secret through collusion and conspiracy. LIBOR was a conspiracy. Nearly very major tech company was caught engaging in "no poaching" employment rules. Corporations invested in fossil fuel infrastructure spend massive amounts of money buying lawmakers and inventing political movements so they can block the push for alternative technologies that would devalue their corporate asset sheets. Empires spent the better portion of the last few thousand years exploiting people to death for the benefit of a handful of individuals.

    Pretending that people with a shitload of money, time, and power don't collude for their own self interest is one of the dumbest ideas that a person can have in the 21st Century. Since the dawn of hierarchical organizations there has been abuse and secrecy at the upper portions of those hierarchies. From khans to queens to popes this has been a self-evident fact of human psychology.

    Where do you think the phrase "cui bono" came from?

  • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @11:35AM (#42808739)

    and yeah, I know I sound elitistic here

    No, don't worry, you sound as stupid as everyone else who can't use a fucking dictionary.

    You you rather that I had written my post in my own language or any of the other 5 languages I can speak?

    I wouldn't want the likes of you to be overwelmed by my spelling mistakes on a non-native tongue. Someone who is clearly as highly gifted with language and argumentation as you would have no trouble with, say, Dutch, right!???

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl