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Authors: Frenken, Marius
Imhoff, Roland
Title: A uniform conspiracy mindset or differentiated reactions to specific conspiracy beliefs? : Evidence from latent profile analyses
Online publication date: 26-Oct-2021
Language: english
Abstract: Conspiracy theories arise for virtually any public event (e.g., pandemics, assassinations, disasters). In light of positively correlated endorsements of such beliefs, many have pointed to a more general mindset behind this. Others have argued against this notion of a consistent mindset. Applying Latent Profile Analyses, we examine the evidence for either uniform or differentiated response patterns to various items in five studies (reanalyzed datasets, total N = 7877). Overall, the results speak strongly to uniform reactions that could be summarized as a general mindset, but also revealed important qualifications. First, small parts of the samples show more differentiated patterns in relation to extraterrestrial cover-up narratives (Studies 2 to 4) or contradictory theories (Study 5). Second, indicators dealing with the general suppression of relevant information in the public were among the items with the highest approval ratings across all classes. One discussed implication is that existing scales are useful tools to measure conspiracy mindsets. Another implication is that the average endorsement of any conspiracy theory is a function of both the respondents’ conspiracy mindset and the item’s psychometric difficulty, strongly suggesting interpreting item endorsement only in relative terms, but refraining from interpreting a high agreement as an absolute number.
DDC: 150 Psychologie
150 Psychology
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 02 Sozialwiss., Medien u. Sport
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: International review of social psychology
Pages or article number: 27
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2021
ISSN: 2397-8570
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.5334/irsp.590
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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frenken_marius-a_uniform_cons-20211021120911374.pdfAppendix98.01 kBAdobe PDFView/Open