Monday, October 06, 2008

Stress, control and conspiracy theories

Or why the Da Vinci Code sold so well in an era of war on terror, perhaps?

The researchers say that their experiments, which also tested people’s tendency to detect conspiracies and see superstitious lessons in stories, help explain why conspiracy theories and superstitions flourish when people are feeling out of control. Previous researchers have reported, for instance, that first-year business-school students are more prone to imagine conspiracies than are second-year students, and that deep-sea fishermen have more elaborate rituals and superstitions than ones who fish in more predictable conditions near shore.

From the NYT, there's a great visual experiment as well. It is something to do with the images above.

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