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Science and the Environment

Strongly held beliefs: psychology and technology as they relate to conspiracy theories

Dr. Amber Abernathy in her lab


Some subset of humanity has probably always held alternative views of reality.  Those ascribing to conspiracy theories sometimes have strong psychological needs behind their commitment to these viewpoints.  It is also clear that technological advances have enhanced the dissemination of inaccurate theories, to the detriment of the national conversation.  Dr. Amber Abernathy is an Associate Professor and the Mary-Charlotte Bayles Shealy Chair in Conscientious Psychology at Missouri State University.  She stops by STEM Spots to chat about the psychological underpinnings of conspiracy theorists, their ability to change viewpoints and the role that technology plays, both positive and negative, in our ability to connect with like-minded individuals.