Innovative but inflexible: The paradox of conspiracy theory language

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Are conspiracy theories popular because of their creativity? A new study suggests that certain common elements present in conspiracy theory narratives might help explain the successful spread of these beliefs. Publishing their work in the Journal of Creative Behavior, researchers have found that while conspiracy theory narratives tend to lack the fluidity and flexibility typically associated with truly creative works, they do exhibit certain features of creativity.

“Despite being often blatantly false, conspiracy theories are quite popular and entertaining,” explained study author Alessandro Miani, a research associate at the School of Psychological Science at the University of Bristol. “In fact, whether you are a conspiracy believer or not, conspiracy theories are a great topic for cocktail parties. Studies show that creative writing is persuasive and so we wondered whether conspiracy theories are creative products because creativity could explain their popularity.”

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