There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there. Some are bizarre – like the idea that Elvis faked his own death. Or that Britain’s royal family are actually shape-shifting alien lizards. A growing number of people believe the world is flat. A lot of conspiracy theories relate to politics. That 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government so it could start wars in the Middle East. Or that powerful groups like the Illuminati are pulling the strings behind the scenes, plotting to establish a New World Order. Or that the new Coronavirus is a bio-weapon engineered by the CIA
Over five episodes, we speak to dozens of academics who have spent their careers researching different elements of conspiracy theories. Most are part of Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories, an international network of conspiracy theory researchers, which supported the making of this podcast.
Psychologists tell us why some people are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories than others, and why there’s a spectrum ranging from the conspiracy curious to hardcore believers. Anthropologists explain why conspiracy talk is commonplace in some parts of the world but not others.