We often read about conspiracy theories which one could define as a projection of fiction into some event (sic). There are some albeit few studies which seeks to uncover what distinguish ‘ believers’ from ‘non-believers’ – a kind of psychological profile if you want.
It does seem that it helps people gain some measure of understanding / control over an unpredictable world (Applied Cognitive Psychology).
The following characteristics are mentioned:- taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority (WHO DOES NOT?) , endorsing democratic practices, feeling generally suspicious toward others and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook. One of the authors of the study calls it “selective skepticism.”
But what I find so interesting is that believers are highly doubtful about information from the government or other sources they consider suspect (not that I blame them ) BUT without criticism, believers accept any source that supports their preconceived views. Jumping to conclusions based on limited evidence.
“It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.”