陰謀論の心理学概観 by Sander van der Linden

陰謀論についての心理学を概観するScientific Americanの記事から...
[SANDER VAN DER LINDEN:"How conspiracists think -- New research helps explain why some see elaborate government plots behind events like 9/11 or the Boston bombings" (2013/04/30) on Salon, originally on Scientific American]

Did NASA fake the moon landing? Is the government hiding Martians in Area 51? Is global warming a hoax? And what about the Boston Marathon bombing…an “inside job” perhaps?

In the book “The Empire of Conspiracy,” Timothy Melley explains that conspiracy theories have traditionally been regarded by many social scientists as “the implausible visions of a lunatic fringe,” often inspired by what the late historian Richard Hofstadter described as “the paranoid style of American politics.” Influenced by this view, many scholars have come to think of conspiracy theories as paranoid and delusional, and for a long time psychologists have had little to contribute other than to affirm the psychopathological nature of conspiracy thinking, given that conspiricist delusions are commonly associated with (schizotype) paranoia.

NASAの月着陸はフェイクなのか? 政府はエリア51に火星人を匿っているのか? 地球温暖化はでっち上げなのか? ボストンマラソン爆発事件は内部者のはんこうか?

Timothy Melleyは著書 "The Empire of Conspiracy"で、陰謀論は伝統的に、歴史家Richard Hofstadter

Yet, such pathological explanations have proven to be widely insufficient because conspiracy theories are not just the implausible visions of a paranoid minority. For example, a national poll released just this month reports that 37 percent of Americans believe that global warming is a hoax, 21 percent think that the US government is covering up evidence of alien existence and 28 percent believe a secret elite power with a globalist agenda is conspiring to rule the world. Only hours after the recent Boston marathon bombing, numerous conspiracy theories were floated ranging from a possible ‘inside job’ to YouTube videos claiming that the entire event was a hoax.

So why is it that so many people come to believe in conspiracy theories? They can’t all be paranoid schizophrenics. New studies are providing some eye-opening insights and potential explanations.


それでは何故、かくも多くの人々が陰謀論を信じるのか? 彼ら全員がパラノイドのシゾフレというわけではありえない。新たな研究群が、驚くべき洞察と、説明の可能性を提示している。

For example, while it has been known for some time that people who believe in one conspiracy theory are also likely to believe in other conspiracy theories, we would expect contradictory conspiracy theories to be negatively correlated. Yet, this is not what psychologists Micheal Wood, Karen Douglas and Robbie Suton found in a recent study. Instead, the research team, based at the University of Kent in England, found that many participants believed in contradictory conspiracy theories. For example, the conspiracy-belief that Osama Bin Laden is still alive was positively correlated with the conspiracy-belief that he was already dead before the military raid took place. This makes little sense, logically: Bin Laden cannot be both dead and alive at the same time. An important conclusion that the authors draw from their analysis is that people don’t tend to believe in a conspiracy theory because of the specifics, but rather because of higher-order beliefs that support conspiracy-like thinking more generally. A popular example of such higher-order beliefs is a severe “distrust of authority.” The authors go on to suggest that conspiracism is therefore not just about belief in an individual theory, but rather an ideological lens through which we view the world. A good case in point is Alex Jones’s recent commentary on the Boston bombings. Jones, (one of the country’s preeminent conspiracy theorists) reminded his audience that two of the hijacked planes on 9/11 flew out of Boston (relating one conspiracy theory to another) and moreover, that the Boston Marathon bombing could be a response to the sudden drop in the price of gold or part of a secret government plot to expand the Transportation Security Administration’s reach to sporting events. Others have pointed their fingers to a ‘mystery man’ spotted on a nearby roof shortly after the explosions. While it remains unsure whether or not credence is given to only some or all of these (note: contradicting) conspiracy theories, there clearly is a larger underlying preference to support conspiracy-type explanations more generally.

例えば、一つの陰謀論を信じる人は、他の陰謀論も信じる傾向があることがわかっていた。しかし、互いに矛盾する陰謀論については負の相関があると思われていた。しかし、それが正しくないことを、心理学者Micheal WoodとKaren DouglasとRobbie Sutonが最近の研究で示した。英国のUniversity of Kent
 を拠点とする、この研究チームは多くの被験者が、互いに矛盾する複数の陰謀論を信じていることを発見した。例えば、Osama Bin Ladenが生存しているという陰謀論を信じることは、軍が攻撃する前にOsama Bin Ladenが既に死亡していたという陰謀論を信じることと正の相関が見られた。論理的には、これはほとんど意味をなさない。Osama Bin Ladenが死亡していることと、生存していることは、同時にはありえない。分析から研究者たちが得た重要な結論は、人々は、個々の陰謀論固有の理由で陰謀論を信じるというより、陰謀論的思考を支持する高次の信条によって陰謀論を信じていることである。そのような高次の信条の、よく知られた例は、重大な権威不信である。研究者たちは、さらに、陰謀論主義が個々の陰謀論についてに信条ではなく、我々が世界を見るイデオロギーのレンズだと示唆した。これの良い例は、Boston爆発事件についてのAlex Jonesの最近のコメンタリーである。米国の卓越した陰謀論者であるAlex Jonesは聴衆に、9.11でハイジャックされた2機の航空機がBostonを飛び立ったことを思い起こさせ(一つの陰謀論を別の陰謀論と関連付け)、さらにボストンマラソン爆発事件が金相場急落への反応もしくは、運輸保安庁の権限をスポーツイベントに拡大する秘密の政府計画の可能性があると述べた。他の陰謀論者たちは、爆発直後に近くの建物の屋上にいた謎の人物を指摘した。これらの互いに矛盾する陰謀論のどれか、あるいは全てが正しかったことがわかるかどうか定かではないが、より広い陰謀論思考を支持する、背後にある選好性の存在はあきらかである。

Interestingly, belief in conspiracy theories has recently been linked to the rejection of science. In a paper published in Psychological Science, Stephen Lewandowsky and colleagues investigated the relation between acceptance of science and conspiricist thinking patterns. While the authors’ survey was not representative of the general population, results suggest that (controlling for other important factors) belief in multiple conspiracy theories significantly predicted the rejection of importa

nt scientific conclusions, such as climate science or the fact that smoking causes lung cancer. Yet, rejection of scientific principles is not the only possible consequence of widespread belief in conspiracy theories.  Another recent study indicates that receiving positive information about or even being merely exposed to conspiracy theories can lead people to become disengaged from important political and societal topics. For example, in their study, Daniel Jolley and Karen Douglas clearly show that participants who received information that supported the idea that global warming is a hoax were less willing to engage politically and also less willing to implement individual behavioral changes such as reducing their carbon footprint.

面白いことに、陰謀論を信じることは、最近では科学拒否とリンクしている。Psychological Scienceに掲載された論文で、Stephen Lewandowskyたちは、科学の受け入れと陰謀論思考パターンの関係を研究した。研究対象は一般人を代表したものではないが、結果は、(他の重要な要素をコントロールした条件下で)複数の陰謀論を信じることは、気候変動や喫煙による肺癌などの重要な科学的結論を否定することの、有意な予測指標となっていることを信じることを示した。科学的原理の拒否は、陰謀論の広まりだけの帰結ではない。別の最近の研究は、陰謀論に肯定的な情報を受け取ったり、さらには陰謀論を聞いただけでも、重要な政治的及び社会的話題から人々がTimothy Melleyの著書 "The Empire of Conspiracy"ををとるようになることを示した。例えば、Daniel JolleyとKaren Douglasは、地球温暖化がでっち上げであるという考えを支持する情報を被験者が受け取ると、政治的な行動をしたがらなくなり、二酸化炭素排出量を削減しようとしなくなることを、明確に示した。

These findings are alarming because they show that conspiracy theories sow public mistrust and undermine democratic debate by diverting attention away from important scientific, political and societal issues. There is no question as to whether the public should actively demand truthful and transparent information from their governments and proposed explanations should be met with a healthy amount of scepticism, yet, this is not what conspiracy theories offer. A conspiracy theory is usually defined as an attempt to explain the ultimate cause of an important societal event as part of some sinister plot conjured up by a secret alliance of powerful individuals and organizations. The great philosopher Karl Popper argued that the fallacy of conspiracy theories lies in their tendency to describe every event as ‘intentional’ and ‘planned’ thereby seriously underestimating the random nature and unintended consequences of many political and social actions. In fact, Popper was describing a cognitive bias that psychologists now commonly refer to as the “fundamental attribution error”: the tendency to overestimate the actions of others as being intentional rather than the product of (random) situational circumstances.

これらの発見は憂慮すべきものである。というのは、陰謀論が人々に不信の種を蒔き、重要な科学的、政治的及び社会的問題から人々の関心を逸らして、民主的討論を弱めることになることがしめされたからだ。人々が積極的に政府に正しく、透明性の高い情報を求め、提示された情報を健全な懐疑の目に晒すべきことに疑問の余地はない。しかし、それは陰謀論が差し出すものではない。陰謀論は一般に、権力ある個人や組織の秘密同盟が描く邪悪な計画の一部として、重要な社会現象を説明する試みであると、定義される。偉大な哲学者Karl Popperは、陰謀論の詭弁は、あるゆる現象を意図的かつ計画的なものと描くことにあり、それはランダムな自然と、多くの政治的及び社会的行動の意図せざる帰結を過小評価するものだと論じた。実際、Popperは、心理学者が今は「根本的な帰属の誤り」と呼ぶ認知バイアスを論じている。それは、他者の行動を、(ランダムな)状況に応じたものではなく、意図的な面を過大評価する傾向のことである。

Since a number of studies have shown that belief in conspiracy theories is associated with feelings of powerlessness, uncertainty and a general lack of agency and control, a likely purpose of this bias is to help people “make sense of the world” by providing simple explanations for complex societal events − restoring a sense of control and predictability. A good example is that of climate change: while the most recent international scientific assessment report (receiving input from over 2500 independent scientists from more than a 100 countries) concluded with 90 percent certainty that human-induced global warming is occurring, the severe consequences and implications of climate change are often too distressing and overwhelming for people to deal with, both cognitively as well as emotionally. Resorting to easier explanations that simply discount global warming as a hoax is then of course much more comforting and convenient psychologically. Yet, as Al Gore famously pointed out, unfortunately, the truth is not always convenient.

posted by Kumicit at 2013/05/17 09:05 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | ID: General | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



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