Number 11 (2009)

Korzeniowski, K. (2009). On two psychological determinants of conspiratorial thinking: Alienation and authoritarianism

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Krzysztof Korzeniowski
Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Abstract:
The aim of the article was to test whether different forms of conspiratorial thinking may be explained in a two-way manner. First, if they may be treated as a consequence of alienation (state of helplessness and estrangement), and second, as an expression of authoritarian mentality. Four forms of conspiratorial thinking were studied: xenophobia, political paranoia, conspiratorial stereotype and anti-Semitism. Results of multiple regression analyses show that alienation and authoritarianism constitute independent predictors of all four forms of conspiratorial thinking. The twofold origin theory of conspiratorial thinking was confirmed. First, it may be understood as a form of adaptation to a state of helplessness and estrangement in face of political reality. Second, conspiratorial thinking comes out as a consequence of authoritarian mentality. The results suggest that different forms of conspiratorial thinking may have a common core.
Keywords: conspiratorial political thinking, political paranoia, conspiratorial stereotype, anti-Semitism,
xenophobia, political paranoia, authoritarianism

Cite this article as:

Korzeniowski, K. (2009). On two psychological determinants of conspiratorial thinking: Alienation and authoritarianism. Psychologia Społeczna, 11, 144-154.
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