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Stress and conspiracy beliefs

Can maladaptive coping with stress foster conspiracy beliefs?

Together with psychologists from the Political Psychology Lab at the University of Kent, we have published the results of our research in the British Journal of Social Psychology.

The study empirically examines how different types of coping strategies are associated with belief in conspiracy theories. Conspiracy beliefs have been linked to the frustration of basic needs and seem to increase during major world events that evoke stress. Thus, we hypothesized that they may serve as a psychological response to maladaptive coping strategies. One of our key findings was that avoidance coping (recognized as being maladaptive and leading to at least temporary disengagement and abandonment of goal-related behaviours) positively predicted belief in conspiracy theories. For more details, please see the link below.

From bad to worse: Avoidance coping with stress increases conspiracy beliefs