Presenter Information

Hillary CopelandFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Sociology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Sean Rife, PhD

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The Storm is Coming: Analyzing the Belief in Q-Anon

Conspiracy theories can broadly be defined as constructed attempts to provide monocausal explanations for high-profile social and political events with a premise of secretive malicious intent to further push the agenda of powerful, evil-minded groups that seek to pursue goals in direct opposition of less powerful groups (Douglas, Sutton, & Cichocka, 2017; van Prooijen & van Vugt, 2018). One conspiracy theory which has recently gained prominence is known as Q-Anon. Proponents of Q-Anon believe that criminals have risen to power who abuse children and take advantage of Americans to advance their agenda of evil. The current investigation examines the following research questions: RQ1: How prevalent are beliefs in the Q-Anon conspiracy theory among college undergraduates at Murray State? RQ2: Does belief in the Q-Anon conspiracy theory correlate with a more general belief in conspiracy theories? RQ3: How does belief in the Q-Anon conspiracy theory breakdown according to demographic variables? RQ4: How do college undergraduates at Murray State first come to hear about Q-Anon and what do they know about it? To answer these questions, participants will complete an online questionnaire composed of demographics, the Generic ConspiracistBeliefs Scale (GCB; Brotherton, French, & Pickering, 2013), a study-specific measure developed to assess levels of Q-Anon belief, and a self-report Gullibility Scale (GS; Teunisse et al. 2019). Data collection is ongoing. Findings from this study will serve as a general preliminary analysis to guide future research on Q-Anon.

Keywords: conspiracy theories, conspiratorial thinking, belief motivation, socio-political, Q-Anon, gullibility, evil elitists, secretive plots

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The Storm is Coming: Analyzing the Belief in Q-Anon

The Storm is Coming: Analyzing the Belief in Q-Anon

Conspiracy theories can broadly be defined as constructed attempts to provide monocausal explanations for high-profile social and political events with a premise of secretive malicious intent to further push the agenda of powerful, evil-minded groups that seek to pursue goals in direct opposition of less powerful groups (Douglas, Sutton, & Cichocka, 2017; van Prooijen & van Vugt, 2018). One conspiracy theory which has recently gained prominence is known as Q-Anon. Proponents of Q-Anon believe that criminals have risen to power who abuse children and take advantage of Americans to advance their agenda of evil. The current investigation examines the following research questions: RQ1: How prevalent are beliefs in the Q-Anon conspiracy theory among college undergraduates at Murray State? RQ2: Does belief in the Q-Anon conspiracy theory correlate with a more general belief in conspiracy theories? RQ3: How does belief in the Q-Anon conspiracy theory breakdown according to demographic variables? RQ4: How do college undergraduates at Murray State first come to hear about Q-Anon and what do they know about it? To answer these questions, participants will complete an online questionnaire composed of demographics, the Generic ConspiracistBeliefs Scale (GCB; Brotherton, French, & Pickering, 2013), a study-specific measure developed to assess levels of Q-Anon belief, and a self-report Gullibility Scale (GS; Teunisse et al. 2019). Data collection is ongoing. Findings from this study will serve as a general preliminary analysis to guide future research on Q-Anon.

Keywords: conspiracy theories, conspiratorial thinking, belief motivation, socio-political, Q-Anon, gullibility, evil elitists, secretive plots

 

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