nga 9/11 të sulmeve në Paris, nga Ebola për Isis, çdo ngjarje e madhe botërore tërheq përkatëse kundër-tregim nga 'truthers', disa aq gjithëpërfshirës që ata të marrin përsipër jetën e njerëzve. Janë Wired truri ynë për të besuar, si një libër i ri argumenton? Dhe të tillë mund të menduar në fakt të jetë e dobishme?
"Mbaj mend lexuar në lidhje me Final Fantasy VII, një film unë isha me të vërtetë duke kërkuar para për. Reagimi im fillestar ishte zhgënjimi se ajo ishte dy vjet larg -. sepse deri atëherë ne do të jetë nën kontroll ushtarak "Ishte 2004, dhe Matthew Elliott ishte në të thellë. Elliott, nga San Antonio, Texas, kishte qenë i pari tërhequr në teoritë e konspiracionit, kur ai ishte 19, si pasojë e 9/11. "Dukej pakuptueshme se ne mund të sulmohet,"Thotë ai sot. Në kërkimin e tij për të bërë kuptim të asaj që kishte ndodhur ai erdhi nëpër famëkeq "truther" Lëvizja, një rrymë e mendimit se paraqet fajin për mizoritë në derën e qeverisë së SHBA.
"Mënyra se teoritë e konspiracionit shumica janë të paraqitura, një gjë gjithmonë çon në një tjetër, kështu që nga aty u binda se një grup vendim të quajtur Rendi i Ri Botëror orkestruar gjithçka. E gjithë kjo do të çojë në ligjin ushtarak dhe heqjen e plotë të lirive tona,"Thotë ai. Një dekadë më vonë, Elliott, tani 34, është një "shërohet" teoricien komploti, u kthye shpinën një botëkuptimi që gjithmonë parashtron disa të fshehta, forcë e fuqishme që vepron kundër interesave të njerëzve të zakonshëm. Ndryshimi erdhi gradualisht, por ai mendon shumë ndryshe tani. "Ju nuk mund të merrni edhe shumë e 50 shtetet që të bien dakord për gjëra. fat të mirë evropianët dhe aziatikët bindës për të marrë në bord. "
Reagimi Elliott me trauma e 9/11 ishte larg nga të pazakontë. Sulmet ishin aq të paparë, në mënyrë shkatërruese, se shumë prej nesh luftoi për të bërë kuptim të tyre. Raportet e hershme ishin të hutuar apo kontradiktore: si rezultat i disa trajtuar versionin zyrtar të ngjarjeve me skepticizëm. Një pjesë e atyre nga ana plumped për një shpjegim që do të kërkonte fakery dhe koordinimi në një shkallë masive.
Kjo nuk duhet të na befasojë: kjo është një model që është përsëritur pas çdo goditje globale, dhe si pasojë e sulmeve në Paris, ajo ka çuar kokën përsëri. Brenda një dite të sulmeve terroriste në kryeqytetin francez, blogs ishte botuar argumentuar se ato ishin vepër e qeverisë - një të ashtu-quajtur "flamur të rreme" operacion. Pretendimet pushuar në idenë se Isis është krijimi i qëllimshëm i qeverive perëndimore. Kohët e fundit, avokati për familjen e Syed Farook, një nga rekreativë të San Bernardino, spekulime Fueled konspirativ kur ai tha: "Nuk është një shumë e motivimit në këtë kohë për të theksuar ose të krijojnë incidente që do të shkaktojnë kontrollin e armëve apo paragjykim apo urrejtje ndaj komunitetit mysliman."
Round-the-clock coverage of global events means there is a constant supply of crisis and chaos for us to interpret. Stories of strings being pulled by hidden hands are a staple of our entertainment, nga Spectre’s Blofeld to the baroque conspiracy of London Spy, one of the most acclaimed British dramas of the year, which unravelled in a spectacular example of the paranoid style. It’s not that belief in conspiracy theories is becoming more widespread, thotë viruset Swami, professor of social psychology at Anglia Ruskin university: while the research hasn’t been done yet, ai tregon mua, there’s lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest that belief in conspiracies has remained fairly stable for the last half-century or so. What has changed, megjithatë, is the speed with which new theories are formed. “It’s a symptom of a much more integrated world,"Thotë ai. Interneti përshpejton çdo gjë lart, duke lejuar individë të konspiracionit me mendje për të lidhur dhe për të formuluar idetë e tyre. në të kundërt, 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,"Thotë ajo. “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,"Thotë ai. “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.”
Për shembull, 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, sigurisht. 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,"Thotë ai.
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”. Nga ana tjetër, 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. Në mënyrë të ngjashme, 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. Dhe 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, pastaj? Part of Brotherton’s argument is that they’re a natural consequence of the way our brains have evolved. Jo vetëm që, 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,"Thotë ai.
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, shumë. “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, shumë. 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,"Thotë ai. “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, vërtet. 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 Lajme & Media Limited 2010