[Ctrl-P] Frontiers: The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

9-11_Truth_1Sprokkelen, lezen, delen. Twitter, het blijft een fascinerend medium. In minder dan 15 minuten verneem je over een lading stoelgangstalen voor het Vlaams Darmflora Project (via ‏@ditisbiotech, en ja, echt wel een interessant project!) of over een open source boek over goedkoop 3D-printen voor educatieve en wetenschappelijke doeleinden (via @irynakuchma, manager bij het EIFL Open Access Programme). Meestal slingert mijn reactie tussen ‘wow’, ‘wat?’ en ‘I know no-othing’. En af en toe is er eentje dat iets langer blijft nazinderen.

Zo eentje was een tweet over Frontiers in personality science and individual differences, een academische uitgever die zweert bij het principe van open access en wiens bedoeling het is om met Frontiers een open science platformuit te bouwen. Klinkt leuk, net zoals dit:

Frontiers was launched as a grassroots initiative in 2007 by scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, out of the collective desire to improve the publishing options and provide better tools and services to researchers in the Internet age. Since then, Frontiers has become the fastest-growing open-access scholarly publisher, with a rapidly growing number of community-driven journals, more than 25,000 of high-impact researchers across a wide range of academic fields serving on the editorial boards and more than 4 million monthly page views.

Voor deze [Ctrl-P] heb ik de inleiding gekopieerd op een reeks van 11 zeer recente artikels over samenzweringstheoriën (2012-2013), samengesteld door Viren Swami en Christopher French (een van de eerste gasten van Het Denkgelag in Gent, 2012). De artikels gaan o.a. over samenzweringsdenken in de blogosfeer, theorieën in verschillende culturen, Gebouw 7 (9/11-samenzweringstheorieën), etc.

Kortom, op naar The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories! Wat doet u nog op deze pagina?

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Viren SwamiChristopher C. French (topic editors): The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

Despite an unparalleled proliferation of information (or perhaps because of it), many people continue to believe in myths or false narratives that exaggerate, idealize, or misconstrue reality. Indeed, recent surveys have suggested that many people in different parts of the world subscribe to ‘conspiracy theories’, while denying ‘official’ or mainstream accounts of many important phenomena. This is increasingly recognized as an important concern for civic society because of the potential of conspiracy theories to sow discord, violence, and public mistrust, while diverting attention from political issues of real significance and undermining democratic discourse.

In an increasingly globalised world, and against the background of turmoil caused by financial crises, war, and international terrorism, the need to understand the nature and roots of conspiracy theories has become increasingly urgent. Yet, contemporary scholarly research on conspiracy theories remains piecemeal. Influenced by Richard Hoftstadter’s discussion of the ‘paranoid style’ in American politics, many commentators continue to view conspiracy theories as the products of individual or collective psychopathology. However, it is unlikely that such a view can provide a comprehensive understanding of conspiracy theories, particularly in view of the fact that such theories are so widespread globally.

The goal of this special issue is to bring together original research on the psychology of conspiracy theories, with a view to providing a comprehensive understanding of the place and role of conspiracy theories in modern societies. Our aim with this volume is invite original research that seeks to understand the ways in which conspiracy theories emerge and are transmitted from cultural, social, and idiographic perspectives. In addition, we seek to facilitate discussions of the ways in which scholars and policy-makers can begin to formulate interventions that counter the deleterious effects of conspiracy theories on civic society. We are convinced that such a volume is both timely and will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, as well as the wider community.