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Why are conspiracy theories more successful in some countries than in others? An exploratory study on Internet users from 22 Western and non-Western countries

Abstract : This exploratory study aims at identifying macro-social factors associated with the international variance of belief in conspiracy theories. We computed a Conspiracy Index for 22 Western and non-Western countries based on the results of an online survey on conspiratorial beliefs. Stepwise regression analyses show that more than 70% of the international variance of this Conspiracy Index is explained by the following three national variables: the level of democracy, the unemployment rate, and the perceived level of public sector corruption. Conspiracy theories thus appear to be more commonly endorsed in countries where people cannot take an active part in the political life of their country (low level of democracy), where they may feel socially threatened (high unemployment rate), and where institutions and authorities are perceived as untrustworthy (high perception of public sector corruption).
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03264549
Contributor : Laurent Cordonier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, June 18, 2021 - 12:20:56 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 5:17:06 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, September 19, 2021 - 6:31:16 PM

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Laurent Cordonier, Florian Cafiero, Gérald Bronner. Why are conspiracy theories more successful in some countries than in others? An exploratory study on Internet users from 22 Western and non-Western countries. Social Science Information, SAGE Publications, 2021, ⟨10.1177/05390184211018961⟩. ⟨hal-03264549⟩

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