Personality Traits and Conspiracy Theories

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For a long time, people have been asking whether certain demographic traits are associated with higher risks of believing in conspiracy theories. For example, there is plenty of literature trying to suss out whether males or females, older or younger people, and people with more or less education, among other demographic indicators, are more associated with high belief in conspiracy theories.

This research has been mixed at best, often displaying confusing signals going in opposite directions. In other words, one study might say older people are more likely to believe them, while the next study says the opposite. In general, no consensus has been reached about the relationship of any of these traits to levels of belief in conspiracy theories. Even political affiliation is an unclear and unreliable signal of the likelihood of believing in certain conspiracy theories.

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