MAR 11, 2018 8:12 PM PDT

Here's Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Conspiracy theories are all around us, and some people often wonder why we come up with them. Jan-Williem van Prooijen is an associate professor in Amsterdam, and he seems to have a pretty good explanation.

Most conspiracy theories, like those claiming that the Earth is flat, stem from a common denominator where people want to explain things in both new and exciting ways. In some cases, conspiracy theories can establish an entirely different viewpoint about a situation and invoke a thrill among the audience, but this isn't always a good thing.

As Prooijen points out, beliefs impact human behavior and perpetuating incorrect information comes with consequences. For example, the one about how vaccines can cause autism led many parents to refuse vaccines for their children. Consequently, illnesses break out more frequently in some areas more than others.

Conspiracy theories can be a fun area of study, whether you believe in them or not. Nevertheless, we should always remember how to separate fact from fiction and to consider the scientific evidence before drawing conclusions.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JAN 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 05, 2020
It's Finally the Year of the Mars 2020 Mission
It’s officially 2020, and with that in mind, anyone paying attention to NASA’s launch schedule should know already that the Mars 2020 rover is...
JAN 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 07, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Exoplanets
While most people are familiar with the planets residing in our solar system from lessons taught back in grade school, it’s important to remember tha...
JAN 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 07, 2020
Baby Penguins Are Often Bullied to Death by Adults
Most people envision penguins as fun, happy-go-lucky birds residing in the Earth’s chilly polar regions, but that’s not always the case. In fac...
JAN 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 19, 2020
A Brief Summary of Everything We Know About Pluto
Pluto was once considered one of the solar system’s planets but was later downgraded to the status of ‘dwarf’ planet after several more s...
FEB 13, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 13, 2020
What is Antimatter, the "Most Expensive" Substance on Earth?
Scientists have long theorized that our world shouldn't have existed, because the equal amount of matter and antimatter created during the toddlerhood...
FEB 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 17, 2020
How a Spider Builds its Web
Just about everyone has seen a spider web at some point in their life, but have you ever wondered how a spider builds such a strong and perfect web? The pr...
Loading Comments...