Conspiracy theorists are more likely to be losers, researchers say
Before the election, Trump supporters were the perfect audience for fake news. They shared utter-bullshit stories — like “Trump Protester Speaks Out: ‘I Was Paid $3,500 to Protest Trump’s Rally,’” and “The Amish Commit Their Vote to Donald Trump; Mathematically Guaranteeing him a Presidential Victory” — that supported their political prejudices.
After the election, however, falsehoods and misinformation that supported liberal beliefs became much more prevalent. Although the left had plenty of authentic and shocking news to share, they opted for the hoaxes and unsupported claims that confirmed their worst suspicions. Headlines like “Trump Conspires with Russia!” and “Trump About to Be Arrested!” ran rampant.
Why would conservatives be more likely to believe conspiracies before the election? Why would liberals be more likely to fall for similar blatant lies after the election? According to new research on political psychology, it’s because conspiracy theories are for losers. Or, more delicately put, losing political control can make people more vulnerable to conspiracy theories.
This discovery comes from a new study published in the journal Political Research Quarterly, which surveyed 1,230 Americans before and after the 2012 election, to determine why some believed election fraud had influenced the outcome.
The researchers found that among both parties before the election, 62 percent of people claimed that if their candidate lost, they believed voter fraud would be involved. However, after Obama won, Democrats were less likely to believe in voter fraud, while Republicans were more likely to believe in election deception.
“Conspiracy theories are for losers,” co-author Joseph Uscinski from the University of Miami explained to PsyPost. “People who are on the outside, people who lost, people who lack control, tend to believe in conspiracy theories.”
Previous research suggests that people embrace conspiracies as a coping mechanism when their status or power is threatened. It helps them regain a sense of self-esteem, unite their group against a common enemy, and focus on forming a defense. Essentially, conspiracies are tool losers use to attack winners.
If these findings offend you, find consolation in the possibility that they’re all lies. In fact, any science that contradicts your ideology could be an elaborate fiction perpetuated by the reptilian elite.