As rapidly as the corona virus spread all over the world, conspiracy theories on the spread of the virus – mainly via social media – followed: the virus was manmade in a laboratory, 5G causes corona and Bill Gates is behind it.
Also prior to the corona crisis conspiracy theories were widespread across eras and cultures, as underscored by beliefs that the earth is flat, the attack on the Twin Towers came from the Bush-administration, the economic crisis of the twenties and thirties in Germany of the 20th Century was to blame on ‘The Jews,’ and secret societies like the Illuminati strive for a New World Order in which they hold all political and economic power. Why are these theories so popular, particularly in distressing times? Social Psychologist Dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen will shed his light on this phenomenon by illuminating how various psychological factors including emotions, basic cognitive processes, and intergroup conflict, increase people’s susceptibility to conspiracy beliefs.
Dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Associate Professor in Social and Organizational Psychology, VU Amsterdam, is interested in the dark side of human beings, particularly in the context of politics, law, and society. His research has three main thematic pillars: conspiracy theories, unethical behavior, and radical ideologies.
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This lecture is brought to you by Studium Generale TU/e (and of course The Bilderberg group, Big Pharma, the media, WHO and De Linkse Kerk).