Putting the stress on conspiracy theories: examing associations between psychosocial stress, anxiety, and belief in conspiracy theories

Swami, V., Furnham, A., Smyth, N., Weis, L., Ley, A. and Clow, A. (2016) Putting the stress on conspiracy theories: examing associations between psychosocial stress, anxiety, and belief in conspiracy theories. Personality and Individual Differences, 99. pp. 72-76. ISSN 0191-8869

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.04.084

Abstract

Psychological stress and anxiety may be antecedents of belief in conspiracy theories, but tests of this hypothesis are piecemeal. Here, we examined the relationships between stress, anxiety, and belief in conspiracy theories in a sample of 420 U.S. adults. Participants completed measures of belief in conspiracy theories, perceived stress, stressful life events, trait and state anxiety, episodic tension, and demographic information. Regression analysis indicated that more stressful life events and greater perceived stress predicted belief in conspiracy theories once effects of social status and age were accounted for (Adj. R2 = .09). State and trait anxiety and episodic ten- sion were not significant predictors. These findings point to stress as a possible antecedent of belief in conspiracy theories.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conspiracy theories, Stress, Anxiety, Perceived stress;
Subjects: University of Westminster > Science and Technology
SWORD Depositor: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Depositing User: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 10:48
Last Modified: 06 May 2018 22:02
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/18567

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