Polarizing Conspiracy Beliefs

Prof. dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen
Wednesday, May 1 , 12:40 PM - 1:20 PM
Blauwe Zaal, Auditorium
Price: Free (Student) Free (Others)

The elite' is out for world domination through a global conspiracy. Behavioral scientist Jan-Willem van Prooijen will delve into the role of conspiracy theories in recent events, such as the COVID-19 protests and the war in Ukraine . He will explain how conspiracy thinking within groups drives people apart and why some conspiracy theorists even turn to violence.

Conspiracy theories have been widespread throughout time and across cultures. It is a phenomenon that increases particularly during major social crises, but it also arises around sporting events, at work, or in our personal lives. Jan-Willem van Prooijen has been condcuting scientific research on conspiracy thinking since 2008. Using current examples such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, he discusses the psychological factors that explain why conspiracy theories polarize and radicalize people.

Prof. dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen is a behavioral scientist who is interested in the dark side of human beings, particularly in the context of politics, law, and society. He works as Associate Professor of Social Psychology, and Program Director of the Psychology Bachelor, at VU Amsterdam; he is Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR); and, he is Endowed Professor of Radicalization, Extremism, and Conspiracy thinking at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at Maastricht University. His research has three main thematic pillars: (1) conspiracy theories, (2) unethical behavior, and (3) radical ideologies. Prof. Van Prooijen published various books including the recently published popular-scientific book HOAX(A.W. Bruna Uitgevers, 2024 – only available in Dutch).

Ticket reservation recommended
To be assured of a seat, we recommend reserving a ticket (black "order" button).

SG & USE/ITEC registration
Please register for SG & USE/ITEC by scanning your student ID at the venue prior to the start of the program.
More information about SG & USE/ITEC can be found here.

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