no 9/11 Parīzes uzbrukumiem, no Ebolas līdz Isis, katrs nozīmīgs pasaules mēroga notikums piesaista attiecīgu counter-stāstījumu no 'truthers ", daži tik visaptveroša, ka viņi pārņem cilvēku dzīvi. Vai mūsu smadzenes vadu ticēt, kā jauna grāmata apgalvo? Un varētu šāda domāšana patiešām būt izdevīga?
"Es atceros lasījums par Final Fantasy VII, filma Es biju patiesi cer. Mana sākotnējā reakcija bija vilšanās, ka tas bija divus gadus prom -., Jo līdz tam mēs gribētu būt zem militārā kontrolē "Tas bija 2004, un Matthew Elliott bija dziļi. Elliott, no San Antonio, Teksasa, bija vispirms ir vērsta uz sazvērestības teorijām, kad viņš bija 19, laikā pēc 9/11. "Likās, neizmērojams, ka mēs varētu tikt apdraudētas,"Viņš saka šodien. Viņa centienos jēgas par to, kas bija noticis, viņš nāca pāri bēdīgi slavenais "truther" kustība, strāva uzskata, ka noteikti vainu par zvērībām pie durvīm ASV valdības.
"Tas, kā lielākā daļa sazvērestības teorijas ir izklāstīts, viena lieta vienmēr noved pie citas, tāpēc no turienes es kļuvu pārliecināts, ka valdošā grupa sauc New World Order organizēti visu. Tas viss noved pie kara likumu un pilnīgu izņemšanu no mūsu brīvību," viņš saka. Desmit gadus vēlāk, Elliott, tagad 34, ir "atgūt" sazvērestības teorētiķis, tam pagrieza muguru par pasaules uzskatu, ka vienmēr izvirzīts dažas slēptās, spēcīgs spēks, kas iedarbojas pret interesēm parasto cilvēku. Izmaiņas nāca pakāpeniski, bet viņš domā ļoti atšķirīgi tagad. "Jūs nevarat pat saņemt daudzas no 50 valstis vienoties par lietām. Good luck pārliecinoši eiropiešiem un aziātiem nokļūt uz kuģa. "
Elliott reakcija uz traumas 9/11 bija tālu no neparasta. Uzbrukumi bija tik bezprecedenta, tik postošas, ka daudzi no mums cīnījās jēgas no tiem. Early ziņojumi bija sajaukt vai pretrunīgi: kā rezultātā daži apstrādāti oficiālo versiju par notikumiem ar skepsi. Daļa no tiem, savukārt plumped par paskaidrojumu, kas prasītu fakery un koordināciju plaša mēroga.
Tam nevajadzētu mūs pārsteigt: tas ir modelis, kas tiek atkārtots ik pēc globālās šoka, un seku Parīzes uzbrukumiem, tas ir audzēti galvu atkal. Dienas laikā no teroristu uzbrukumiem Francijas galvaspilsētā, blogi tika publicēti apgalvojot, ka viņi bija darbs valdības - ts "viltus karogs" darbība. Pretenzijas atpūsties uz ideju, ka Isis ir apzināta radīšana rietumu valdību. Nesen, advokāts par ģimenes Syed Farook, viens no San Bernardino šāvējiem, Fueled konspiratīvs spekulācija kad viņš teica: "Tur ir daudz motivācijas šajā laikā, lai uzsvērtu vai radīt incidentus, kas izraisa lielgabals kontroli vai aizspriedumus vai naidu pret musulmaņu kopienu."
Round-the-clock segumu globālajiem notikumiem nozīmē, ka ir pastāvīga piegādi krīzes un haosu, lai mēs interpretēt. Stāsti par virknes tiek vilkti ar slēpto rokās ir štāpeļšķiedrām mūsu izklaides, no Spectre s Blofeld uz baroka sazvērestība Londona Spy, viens no visvairāk acclaimed britu drāmām par gadu, kas unraveled iespaidīgu piemērs paranojas stils. Tas nav, ka ticība sazvērestības teorijām kļūst arvien populārāka, saka vīrusi Swami, profesors sociālās psiholoģijas Anglia Ruskin universitātes: bet pētījumi nav darīts vēl, viņš man saka, tur ir daudz anekdotiski pierādījumi, ka ticība sazvērestības ir saglabājies samērā stabils pēdējā pusgadsimta, vai arī tā. Kas ir mainījies, tomēr, ir ātrums, ar kādu tiek veidotas jaunas teorijas. “It’s a symptom of a much more integrated world," viņš saka. Internets paātrina viss uz augšu, ļaujot sazvērestības domājošiem indivīdiem, lai savienotu un formulēt savas idejas. Pretstatā, it took months for theories about Pearl Harbor to develop.
Karen Douglas, another social psychologist, echoes this point. “People’s communication patterns have changed quite a lot over the last few years. It’s just so much easier for people to get access to conspiracy information even if they have a little seed of doubt about an official story. It’s very easy to go online and find other people who feel the same way as you.”
Is everyone prone to this kind of thinking, or is it the preserve of an extreme fringe? Douglas reckons it’s more common than most of us realise. “Recent research has shown that about half of Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory," viņa saka. “You’re looking at average people; people you might come across on the street.”
That’s also the view of Rob Brotherton, whose new book, Suspicious Minds, explores the traits that predispose us to belief in conspiracies. He cautions against sitting in judgment, since all of us have suspicious minds – and for good reason. Identifying patterns and being sensitive to possible threats is what has helped us survive in a world where nature often is out to get you. “Conspiracy theory books tend to come at it from the point of view of debunking them. I wanted to take a different approach, to sidestep the whole issue of whether the theories are true or false and come at it from the perspective of psychology," viņš saka. “The intentionality bias, the proportionality bias, confirmation bias. We have these quirks built into our minds that can lead us to believe weird things without realising that’s why we believe them.”
“Whenever anything ambiguous happens, we have this bias towards assuming that it was intended – that somebody planned it, that there was some kind of purpose or agency behind it, rather than thinking it was just an accident, or chaos, or an unintended consequence of something.” This intentionality bias, Brotherton says, can be detected from early childhood. “If you ask a young kid why somebody sneezed, the kid thinks that they did it on purpose, that the person must really enjoy sneezing. It’s only after about the age of four or five that we begin to learn that not everything that everybody does is intended. We’re able to override that automatic judgment. But research shows that it still stays with us even into adulthood.”
Piemēram, studies have shown that when people drink alcohol, they are more likely to interpret ambiguous actions as having been deliberate. “So if you’re at the pub and somebody jostles you and spills your drink, if it’s your first drink, you might write it off as an innocent mistake. But if you’re a few drinks in, then you’re more likely to think they did it on purpose, that it was an aggressive act.”
Like most personality traits, proneness to intentionality bias varies across the population. “Some people are more susceptible to it than others.” And, Brotherton explains, there is a small but reliable correlation between that susceptibility and belief in conspiracy theories.
External factors also play a part, protams. For Ryan, who asked that I omit his last name, the influence of a single charismatic individual was crucial. It was Johnny, a friend and bandmate, who showed him books and CDs about world government and “served as a guru of sorts”. At the same time as inducting him into the truther movement, “he was introducing me to music I’d never heard and really loved”. At the height of his involvement, Ryan says he believed a broad range of conspiracy theories, including “chemtrails” – the idea that the trails left by planes contain noxious chemicals intended to subdue or poison people; that Aids and Ebola were introduced by governments to control population; that the moon landings were faked; that a substance extracted from apricots called laetrile was an effective cure for cancer, but had been banned by the FDA and dismissed as quackery to protect the interests of Big Pharma. “I strained my relationships with my family badly. It’s always the ones you love the most that you want to ‘wake up’. I ended up in hugely embarrassing debates and arguments," viņš saka.
But beyond the anguish it caused for those close to him, were Ryan’s unorthodox beliefs harmful? Karen Douglas is wary of rubbishing all conspiracy theorising as dangerous. “Thinking in that way, it must have some positive consequences. If everybody went around just accepting what they were told by governments, officials, pharmaceutical companies, whoever, then we would be a bunch of sheep, really”. No otras puses, the effects of certain theories on behaviour can be damaging. Douglas’s own research [pdf download] has shown that exposure to the idea that the British government was involved in the death of Princess Diana reduced people’s intention to engage in politics. vienādi, subjects who read a text stating that climate change was a hoax by scientists seeking funding were less likely to want to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. Un anti-vaccine conspiracy narratives make people less likely to vaccinate their children, a clear public health risk.
Should we try to stamp conspiracy theories out, tad? Part of Brotherton’s argument is that they’re a natural consequence of the way our brains have evolved. Ne tikai to, ka, but trying to disprove them can backfire. “Any time you start trying to debunk conspiracy theories, for the people who really believe, that’s exactly what they would expect if the conspiracy were real," viņš saka.
Swami sees things differently. “Experimental work that we’ve done shows that it’s possible to reduce conspiracist ideation.” How? Swami found that people who had been encouraged to think analytically during a verbal task were less likely to accept conspiracy theories afterwards. For him, this hints at an important potential role for education. “The best way is, at a societal level, to promote analytical thinking, to teach critical thinking skills.” But that’s not all. When people have faith in their representatives, understand what they are doing and trust that they are not corrupt, they are less likely to believe in coverups. That’s why political transparency ought to be bolstered wherever possible – and corporate transparency, pārāk. “A lot of people have trouble accepting a big organisation’s or government’s narratives of an event, because they’re seen as untrustworthy, they’re seen as liars,” argues Swami.
Improved teaching and changes in political and business culture would undoubtedly help. But conspiracy theories can be rejected for personal reasons, pārāk. Ryan’s view changed with loss of his “guru”.
“I kinda dropped out of contact with Johnny after he got married and had a baby," viņš saka. “He was getting further and further into it, and I just couldn’t keep up with the mental gymnastics involved.” He started to look for alternative explanations – less exciting, but more plausible ones. “I looked at the people debating on the national level, for the presidency and such. No way these guys speaking in platitudes and generalisations could really be behind a global conspiracy to enslave or kill me. They weren’t doing a particularly good job of it either, considering how happy I was living my life.
“That was the epiphany, patiešām. I was free. I was happy. None of the doom and gloom predicted and promised ever came.” For Ryan, by then 27, the bizarre ride was over. A world that pitted him against the forces of evil had all the appeal of a spy drama. But real life was less like a story – and in some ways more depressing. What does he think are the forces that really shape things? “Most of what is wrong in the world nowadays – well, I would put it down to incompetence and greed. A lack of compassion.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010