“Conspiracy theorists” are more rational than those who smear them, study finds

If you’re a conspiracy theorist, then you’re crazy, right? That’s been the common belief for years, but recent studies prove that just the opposite is true.

Researchers — psychologists and social scientists, mostly — in the U.S. and United Kingdom say data indicate that, contrary to those mainstream media stereotypes,“conspiracy theorists” appear to be more sane than people who accept official versions of controversial and contested events.

The most recent study was published in July 2013 by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent in the UK. Entitled “‘What about Building 7?’ A Social Psychological Study of Online Discussion of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories,” the study compared “conspiracist,” or pro-conspiracy theory, and “conventionalist,” or anti-conspiracy, comments on news websites.

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