Think Talk: Down the rabbit hole? Lessons from psychological research on conspiracy theories
Tuesday 30th May 2023 7.30pm to 8.30pm
Dr Matt Williams, Massey University
About Dr Matt Williams:
Matt is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology, Massey University. His research interests include misinformation, conspiracy theories, and meta-science.
Abstract: A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or observation as the result of a conspiracy—multiple actors secretly plotting to do something harmful or unlawful. Some conspiracy theories are warranted by evidence—but others (unwarranted conspiracy theories) are not. Conspiracy theories are presently at the forefront of public consciousness thanks to events such as the 2021 United States Capitol attack and the 2022 Wellington parliament protest. But how prevalent are beliefs in unwarranted conspiracy theories? Are such beliefs becoming more common over time? How often do people change their minds about conspiracy theories, and why? This talk will explore these questions drawing on recent psychological research conducted in New Zealand and Australia.
Please register for this talk so we can plan seating for the expected numbers. A small donation on arrival at the door is appreciated.