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Old 20th February 2017, 07:34 PM   #1
William Parcher
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Study: Social Exclusion Leads to Conspiratorial Thinking

Social Exclusion Leads to Conspiratorial Thinking, Study Finds

Quote:
Recent polls have shown that many white, working-class people in America feel pushed out by society, a reason why many voted for President Donald Trump. Many of these supporters latched onto misinformation spread online, especially stories that justified their own beliefs.

New research may show why so many were willing to believe exaggerated and misleading reports. According to a Princeton University study published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, social exclusion leads to conspiratorial thinking.

The two-part analysis — which did not specifically investigate Trump supporters, but two random samples of people — found that the feelings of despair brought on by social exclusion can cause people to seek meaning in miraculous stories, which may not necessarily be true.

Such conspiratorial thinking leads to a dangerous cycle, said co-lead author Alin Coman, assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton. When those with conspiratorial ideas share their beliefs, it can drive away family and friends, triggering even more exclusion. This may lead them to join conspiracy theory communities where they feel welcome, which in turn will further entrench their beliefs.

"Attempting to disrupt this cycle might be the best bet for someone interested in counteracting conspiracy theories at a societal level," Coman said. "Otherwise, communities could become more prone to propagating inaccurate and conspiratorial beliefs."...

http://wws.princeton.edu/news-and-ev...ng-study-finds
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Old 20th February 2017, 07:52 PM   #2
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I wonder who funded this research? Probably them.
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Old 20th February 2017, 07:58 PM   #3
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Very interesting. Thanks for the link
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Old 21st February 2017, 12:34 AM   #4
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Q: Why am I excluded from the political process and/or the wealth and success that everyone else seems to be enjoying except me?

Is it answer 1:

Because I failed to take advantage of opportunities that were afforded me for whatever reason

or is it answer 2:

It's someone else's fault, with that someone else handily identified by a helpful third party with easy to understand bite sized notions. So it's tptb, the illuminations, joos, Mexicans, muslimistas, whoever, anyone but me...
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Old 21st February 2017, 12:42 AM   #5
MikeG
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Originally Posted by threadworm View Post
Q: Why am I excluded from the political process and/or the wealth and success that everyone else seems to be enjoying except me?

Is it answer 1:

Because I failed to take advantage of opportunities that were afforded me for whatever reason

or is it answer 2:

It's someone else's fault, with that someone else handily identified by a helpful third party with easy to understand bite sized notions. So it's tptb, the illuminations, joos, Mexicans, muslimistas, whoever, anyone but me...
Is it really as simple as that? If you live in an area where the economy has been destroyed "opportunities afforded me" might amount to zero.
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Old 21st February 2017, 03:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Is it really as simple as that? If you live in an area where the economy has been destroyed "opportunities afforded me" might amount to zero.
It's an oversimplification granted, and some people are just not equipped to deal with the complexities that life throws at them. However many people seem much happier to blame someone with a different colour skin, or who maybe pray on a different day, or some unseen hidden hand for all their problems because it's much easier to do that than it is to admit that actually you could have paid more attention in school, you could have drunk less, you could have put more effort in.

It's far easier and less psychologically damaging to believe that everything has been deliberately stacked against you than admit that actually you just don't have the smarts or the willpower or whatever skills are needed to get what you think you deserve.
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Old 21st February 2017, 03:41 AM   #7
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That's a much more nuanced and fair post.
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Old 21st February 2017, 04:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by threadworm View Post
It's an oversimplification granted, and some people are just not equipped to deal with the complexities that life throws at them. However many people seem much happier to blame someone with a different colour skin, or who maybe pray on a different day, or some unseen hidden hand for all their problems because it's much easier to do that than it is to admit that actually you could have paid more attention in school, you could have drunk less, you could have put more effort in.

It's far easier and less psychologically damaging to believe that everything has been deliberately stacked against you than admit that actually you just don't have the smarts or the willpower or whatever skills are needed to get what you think you deserve.

Have you seen the social mobility statistics?
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Old 21st February 2017, 09:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by threadworm View Post
Q: Why am I excluded from the political process and/or the wealth and success that everyone else seems to be enjoying except me?

Is it answer 1:

Because I failed to take advantage of opportunities that were afforded me for whatever reason

or is it answer 2:

It's someone else's fault, with that someone else handily identified by a helpful third party with easy to understand bite sized notions. So it's tptb, the illuminations, joos, Mexicans, muslimistas, whoever, anyone but me...
I wonder how poor blacks in America would respond to your little survey.
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Old 21st February 2017, 10:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Is it really as simple as that? If you live in an area where the economy has been destroyed "opportunities afforded me" might amount to zero.

Many, though possibly not most or all, people who live in such areas are capable of moving to areas with better opportunities.
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Old 21st February 2017, 05:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Is it really as simple as that? If you live in an area where the economy has been destroyed "opportunities afforded me" might amount to zero.
Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Many, though possibly not most or all, people who live in such areas are capable of moving to areas with better opportunities.
Yes.
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Old 21st February 2017, 08:56 PM   #12
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I think I have always envisioned hard core conspiracy theorists as being socially awkward people of lower than average intelligence living in their mother's basement or at least living a closeted existence on their own. I came to that conclusion after have met a few some years back.

I have no idea is this is really a fair assessment of the type.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 02:20 AM   #13
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Dont know what to make of this study.
Weren`t some of the greatest minds social outcasts?
Conspiratorial thinking leads to social exclusion makes more sense to me.
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Old 25th February 2017, 07:45 AM   #14
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I think this article has a lot to say about all the conspiracy theorists.

I have to agree with Jimmy. To me it seems the title is backwards. It’s the conspiracy theories that lead to isolation, not the other way around.

Several Christmases ago my wife and I visited relatives out of state who took us to a friend’s house for a big pre-Christmas party. The host’s father was a birther who wouldn’t shut up about his birther theories, thus breaking the old don’t-talk-politics-at-gatherings rule.

The result was that the old guy spent most of the party in a corner with his daughter who in effect guarded him and made sure anyone who came by to talk to him didn’t get into it with him over birtherism.

Last year we were at a birthday party in the same town, with the same crew. The daughter and the father were there, both a few years older and heavier. He had lost some hearing and thus was even more isolated. The only time anybody talked to him was when a close family member left the party and walked by to say a brief good by the old guy.
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Old 25th February 2017, 08:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by threadworm View Post
Q: Why am I excluded from the political process and/or the wealth and success that everyone else seems to be enjoying except me?

Is it answer 1:

Because I failed to take advantage of opportunities that were afforded me for whatever reason

or is it answer 2:

It's someone else's fault, with that someone else handily identified by a helpful third party with easy to understand bite sized notions. So it's tptb, the illuminations, joos, Mexicans, muslimistas, whoever, anyone but me...
Originally Posted by threadworm View Post
It's an oversimplification granted, and some people are just not equipped to deal with the complexities that life throws at them. However many people seem much happier to blame someone with a different colour skin, or who maybe pray on a different day, or some unseen hidden hand for all their problems because it's much easier to do that than it is to admit that actually you could have paid more attention in school, you could have drunk less, you could have put more effort in.

It's far easier and less psychologically damaging to believe that everything has been deliberately stacked against you than admit that actually you just don't have the smarts or the willpower or whatever skills are needed to get what you think you deserve.
I like and agree with this point of view.
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Old 25th February 2017, 09:05 AM   #16
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I agree that some folks a get a raw deal in life. The worst deal is being born into a highly dysfunctional family that doesn't help kids develop the life skills they need to get along in this world.

The same skills that allow the lucky among us to function in this world are not any different from those the children of dysfunctional families need. But the problem is those kids don't get the lessons at home.

It is interesting to see some people with flawed upbringings overcompensate in their adult lives. They work very hard, coach their kid's sports teams, make sure the kid's homework is always done. . .etc, etc. . . Sometimes their kids complain that mom or dad are too dedicated!

But back to the subject at hand. . .these folks never, ever let their kids blame the powers that be when the things they, the kids, have control over go wrong. A kid who is taught that his failing grade in school is his doing rather than the teacher's is not likely to grow up blaming Jewish bankers when he can't pay the mortgage.
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Old 25th February 2017, 12:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jimmy9 View Post
Dont know what to make of this study.
Weren`t some of the greatest minds social outcasts?
Conspiratorial thinking leads to social exclusion makes more sense to me.
Maybe it's a stubborn feedback loop of social exclusion and distrust and misinformation.
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Old 25th February 2017, 12:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jimmy9 View Post
Dont know what to make of this study.
Weren`t some of the greatest minds social outcasts?
Conspiratorial thinking leads to social exclusion makes more sense to me.
I think this answers most of the issue.

Great minds often become great because they are socially isolated, thus develop their own thinking without compromise just to fit in.

Conspiratorial thinking leads to exclusion, but in some cases exclusion or segregation leads to conspiratorial thinking. In the US blacks were segregated, and even in places where they were officially discriminated against - in writing - they often received second-class treatment (passed over for jobs, promotion, singled out by law enforcement). The has lead to severe conspiratorial thinking in a large segment of the African-American community today which is almost impossible to root out. Black people who become successful are seen as sellouts instead of examples of ways to improve the situation.
In France, we've seen how the lack of integration into French society has fed extremist conspiracy theories, which has led to terrorist acts.

So for me the idea is fully: Social exclusion leads to conspiratorial thinking, which then lead to a deeper social exclusion.
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Old 26th February 2017, 05:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
So for me the idea is fully: Social exclusion leads to conspiratorial thinking, which then lead to a deeper social exclusion.
That's exactly why Americans with a lick of sense are concerned with a the attempts of some to marginalize Muslims.
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Old 28th February 2017, 02:15 PM   #20
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This is a very very weak Study, only 120 participants in a Regression Model is extremely low. There are better thoughts in this thread than in this Study.
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Old 16th March 2017, 10:14 PM   #21
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I understand annoying conspiracy spouting loons getting socially isolated. But I have also noticed an over representation of conspiratorial thinking among ex-pats in Japan. One of the common characteristics seems to be poor Japanese ability, so I can't help but think "social isolation" must play a significant role.

Last edited by shuize; 16th March 2017 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 17th March 2017, 01:20 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by No Other View Post
This is a very very weak Study, only 120 participants in a Regression Model is extremely low. There are better thoughts in this thread than in this Study.
Glad someone else noticed. I do not think one can make sweeping conclusions from this study, and in particular found the first method rather suspect, with causality in the eye of the beholder (going by the link, not the full study). The second test actually provided for the possibility of highly counter-intuitive results (falsified reactions to participant statements), making the thought that "something is going on" not entirely unreasonable.

As summarized in the article, I do not find that this study supports any strong statements.

Entirely a different issue is the role of social exclusion in adoption of dogma and the violence it may advocate, mentioned and discussed in the thread. I don't have time to address the issue, but so far, it hasn't been dealt with meaningfully in this thread, in my opinion.
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Old 17th March 2017, 01:23 AM   #23
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I have lived in Muslim countries for some time, and there is an apparently endless appetite for conspiracy theories, from the Illuminati and 9/11 to Israeli spy vultures and mind-controlled sharks.

I think the idea of social exclusion is a valid one here. The great majority of Muslim governments are autocratic, corrupt or both. The people have very little say in how their countries are run. Moreover, the press is muzzled, and standards of journalism are very low. In the absence of any control over large areas of their lives, and also the absence of reliable information about what's happening in the world, many Muslims turn to conspiracy theories instead.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:41 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I wonder how poor blacks in America would respond to your little survey.


It's not much of a mystery when they're spouting out that it's all the fault of The Man or The White Man for their current problems whether white men had any involvement with it or not.
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Old 20th March 2017, 04:25 PM   #25
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They are? Evidence?
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