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Survey: Conspiracy Theorists Plentiful, Not Bright
20 January, 2013
A newly released survey from Farleigh Dickinson University (FDU) finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans subscribe to at least one conspiracy theory. The national telephone poll questioned a randomly selected sample of 814 registered voters during December 2012. Each respondent was asked whether or not one of four conspiracies was “probably true” or “probably not true.” Respondents were also asked a series of four current events questions.
In general, the survey found, the more conspiracies a person believes, the fewer current events questions they are able to answer correctly. Forty-seven percent of individuals who believed in no conspiracy theories answered all four current events questions correctly. Meanwhile, only one-percent of individuals who believed in three conspiracy theories managed to run the table on the current events questions. In addition, belief in conspiracies tended to be slightly higher among black Americans than among white Americans.
“Groups that feel more distanced from the political process are more likely to believe that sinister forces are at work,” said FDU political science professor Dan Cassino in a press release announcing the survey results. “These figures tell us more about a lack of trust in the political process than acceptance of particular conspiracies.”