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Authors: Frenken, Marius
Imhoff, Roland
Title: Don't trust anybody : conspiracy mentality and the detection of facial trustworthiness cues
Online publication date: 2-Feb-2023
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: Conspiracy theories express mistrust in common explanations and epistemic authorities. Independent of concrete content, the extent of endorsing conspiracy theories has also shown associations with interpersonal mistrust. Arguing from an evolutionary and error-management perspective, this increased interpersonal mistrust could either represent an enhanced sensitivity to untrustworthiness cues, or a limited ability to recognize trustworthiness, or non-specific mistrust without differentiations between (un)trustworthiness cues. In two experimental studies (N = 563), we manipulated facial trustworthiness and tested the differentiation of trustworthiness evaluations as a function of conspiracy mentality. We found that conspiracy mentality was associated with a generalized tendency to perceive others as untrustworthy, independent of facial trustworthiness, speaking to non-specific manifestations of mistrust. However, the association between conspiracy mentality and trust became non-significant once age was accounted for in Study 1. We discuss how conspiracy mentality may be associated with an increased propensity to view the world as having malevolent intentions.
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-NC
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Journal: Applied cognitive psychology
Version of Record (VoR)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Publisher place: New York, NY
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 1099-0720
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/acp.3955
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-H

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