Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? And why, if you believe in one conspiracy theories, are you more likely to believe in other such theories? Here's an interesting article on that topic: http://www.slate.com/articles/healt...le_who_claim_to_know_the_truth_about_jfk.html Here's my quick summary of some of the points made. The term "believers" below means "people who believe in one or more conspiracy theories". Believers aren't really skeptics. They are selective doubters. They favour a particular worldview, which they uncritically defend. Believers tend to think that elites are omnipotent - e.g. the government can, in utter secrecy, influence the flow of information to such an extent that it can "cover up" massive conspiracies of misinformation such as the existence of UFOs, the non-reality of climate change, that the US government brought down the World Trade Center, or the danger of vaccines to children. Believers tend to be low in trust of other people. This makes them more likely to believe that other people are colluding against them. Believers tend to be political cynics. That is, they are more inclined to think that politicians are liars, and that politics is a process for elites that is removed from the "common man". Believers tend to believe that most people can be "bought off" so as to act dishonestly or to support a conspiracy. This is tied to their general lack of trust, especially in "the establishment". Believers tend to think that random occurrences are actually intended by somebody. Believes tend to ignore complex causes, instead putting things down to overarching control by the omnipotent elites. Given the choice between a complex web of causes and a seemingly-simple explanation involving a conspiracy of powerful elites, believers will opt for the conspiracy theory most of the time. Believers tend to think that people behave in certain ways because they have certain objectives (aligned with the conspiracy, typically), and/or personality traits (untrustworthiness, seeking to enrich or empower themselves). Believers downplay the importance of situational factors and chance in how people act. Believers tend to be imaginative and prone to fantasising. If you believe that the world is full of malice and planning instead of circumstance and coincidence, you are more likely to buy into belief in a conspiracy theory. And once you believe in one, you're far more likely to believe in others. Believers are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories that actually contradict one another than to accept a straightforward explanation. For example, the more you believe that Princess Diana faked her own death, you more likely you are believe that, if she didn't fake her own death, then she was probably murdered. A study showed that "The strongest predictor of belief in an entirely fictitious conspiracy theory was belief in other real-world conspiracy theories." Believers feel alienated from mainstream society. They don't trust the government or the media. Believers concentrate on finding "holes" in official explanations. However, they do not look for holes in the "alternative" (conspiracy theory) explanations, tending instead to accept them at face value. Conspiracy believers are the ultimate motivated skeptics. Their curse is that they apply this selective scrutiny not to the left or right, but to the mainstream. They tell themselves that they’re the ones who see the lies, and the rest of us are sheep. But believing that everybody’s lying is just another kind of gullibility. Does this sound like you, or anybody you know?