Secrets and lies: The psychology of conspiracy theories

Media:  Talk   

25 November 2017

Byens Lys

Karen Douglas

Karen Douglas is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent and Director of Graduate Studies. Her primary research focus is on beliefs in conspiracy theories. She also researchers on the social psychology of human communication, including how people manipulate subtle features of their language in order to achieve social goals. Homepage

Cumbia Psychos

Cumbia​ ​Psychos​ ​are​ ​a​ ​new​ ​musical​ ​collaborative​ ​based​ ​in​ ​Copenhagen/Oslo. It is composed of Paulo​ ​C.​ ​Villegas (drums), Jonatan​ ​Ahlbom (tuba) and ​Mika​ ​Forsling (electric guitar). Homepage

Why are conspiracy theories appealing to so many people? Are some people more likely to believe conspiracy theories than others? Do conspiracy theories make people feel better? What are the psychological and social consequences of conspiracy theories? Is it possible to reduce belief in conspiracy theories?​

Millions of people disbelieve official explanations for significant political and social events in favour of alternative accounts that are often called ‘conspiracy theories’. For example, well known conspiracy theories contend that the 9/11 attacks were an 'inside job', that climate change is a hoax, and that Princess Diana was murdered by the British government.

Conspiracy theories like these are very popular - about half of the population believes at least one - and in recent years psychologists have begun to investigate what makes these conspiracy theories appealing to so many people.

Karen Douglas, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent, will talk about what research has discovered so far, and will outline her own programme of research on the psychology of conspiracy theories.

Does the fact that you believe that the moon landing was staged and that the Earth is flat make you feel unique and stand out in our social group? Food for thought and an event to attend.

And while you ponder your beliefs/disbeliefs and how wrong/right you were your entire life, cocktails are being served to help you in your inner quest. Simultaneously, Cumbia​ ​Psychos take the stage. Their​ ​music stretches​ ​between​ ​heavy​ ​latin​ ​rhythms,​ ​surfy​ ​riffs,​ ​psychedelic​ ​sounds​ ​and​ ​melodies influenced​ ​by​ ​balkan​ ​music.​ ​With​ ​drums,​ ​tuba​ ​and​ ​electric​ ​guitar​ ​the​ ​trio​ ​generates​ ​energetic songs​ ​and​ ​wild​ ​improvisations.

Entrance to the event is free. Event held in English. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:00.

The talk: