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Conspiracy Theories Spread More Easily Among the Lonely Seeking Patterns in Randomness, Study Finds

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Man in Tin foil lined bed room
(Matt Carr/Getty Images)


A new study has found that loneliness may lead directly to conspiracy theories.

The March issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology reports that being socially isolated tends to lead to a search for more meaning in life. In turn, the quest to find meaning leads to seeking patterns in life’s randomness.

The result may be that the lonely start to discover things that seem very clear to them, even though everyone else has missed them.

“People think of conspiracy theorists as these weirdos,” psychologist Alin Coman of Princeton University, the paper’s senior author, told Scientific American. “(But) anybody could become entrenched in that kind of thinking if the right circumstances arise.”

To learn more about the psychology of conspiracy theories in the Scientific American, click here.