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Do you believe that the planet Earth is actually not round, but flat? Maybe you think that human society is run by reptilians? If these and other conspiracy theories seem like complete nonsense to you, we have good news – you most likely do not have narcissistic personality disorder. Recently, scientists have studied in detail the peculiarities of the thinking of narcissistic people and came to the conclusion that it is them who often become supporters of conspiracy theories and increase their popularity among other people.
The danger of this phenomenon lies in the fact that often famous personalities have narcissistic traits, and they are listened to by thousands and even millions of men and women. As a result, more and more people in the world begin to sincerely believe that vaccines are something harmful to health and hold other erroneous opinions. But why exactly do narcissists tend to believe in conspiracy theories?
Why do people believe in conspiracy theories
Many people believe that there are definitely no conspiracy theorists in their environment. However, the results of a poll for 2018 are capable of destroying such an idea – it turned out that at least 67% of Russians believe in a “secret world government”. It is worth emphasizing that most of these people have higher education, that is, they are far from stupid.
There are so many conspiracy theories that everyone believes in some of them at least partially. In addition to the possibility of the existence of reptilians, there are theories that genetically modified foods are harmful to health (which is absolutely not true), or that the coronavirus is spread using 5G towers. Or, as an example, the theory is that Americans have never been to the moon and all the videos were filmed on a movie set. It is possible that even you sometimes had doubts about the existence of the American lunar mission – after all, we did not see anything live?
Scientists believe that people have a natural tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. It is due to the fact that conspiracy theory makes it easier to explain many complex phenomena, helps people feel unity, and so on. It is much easier for many people to believe that a dangerous disease was created by some bad person, and did not appear accidentally as a result of human interaction with a bat. Indeed, in the latter case, it turns out that our world is unpredictable and people are afraid to believe in it.
Who believes the most in conspiracy theories
Recently, scientists have announced that most often conspiracy theorists are narcissists – people with an increased sense of self-importance, incapable of empathy and an increased need for outside attention. The tendency to believe in conspiracy theories is due to at least four personality traits of narcissists.
First, most narcissists are paranoid and believe that others want to harm them on purpose. This is where the belief arises that someone wants to “chip” them, introduce a virus into the body, and so on.
Second, many narcissists have a need for dominance and control. Because of this, they may use conspiracy theories as a way to scapegoat others, to shift responsibility for problems onto someone else. This is where faith in a secret government, reptilians, and so on can originate.
Third, narcissists have a need for uniqueness. Conspiracy theories allegedly provide access to privileged and hidden information that many do not. By joining the ranks of conspiracy theorists, narcissists can gain some uniqueness and become “not like everyone else.”
Fourth, scientists believe that people with narcissistic personality disorder are more naive and less likely to think. Because of this, they can be more suggestible and believe much of what they are told.
We argue that each of these components of narcissism may predispose people to accept conspiracy theories, the authors of the scientific work concluded .
In fairness, it should be noted that some of the conclusions of scientists raise questions. For example, why if narcissists are paranoid and expect threats from the outside, why are they so naive and believe in conspiracy theories? These discrepancies are not explained.
Why are conspiracy theories dangerous?
A little higher, we have already noted that everyone can believe in conspiracy theories, even people with higher education. But scientists suggest that belief in conspiracy theories among narcissists is a particularly dangerous phenomenon. As a rule, people with narcissistic personality disorder are very popular and can really influence other people. This means they can spread conspiracy ideas to even more people.
Conspiracy theories are relatively innocuous, such as the one that Americans have never been to the moon. But there are those whose spread can have dangerous consequences. An example is the theory about the dangers of 5G towers – people believed that they spread the coronavirus and even set them on fire.
Also, some men and women believe that vaccinations cause illness in children. This misconception puts children at risk of contracting deadly diseases. The situation is so dangerous that WHO even included it in the list of threats to the health of all mankind.
Some conspiracy theories have been around for a very long time and are still popular among people. You can read more about the reasons for their relevance in our previous article.