Essay on Conspiracy Theories and How They Change Our Perception of the World
Conspiracy theories, something has to lead people to believe them, and they have to affect something; otherwise, there would be no reason for them. People believe in conspiracy theories for many reasons; three reasons someone may believe in a conspiracy theory are that the conspiracy theory aligns with what they already believe, the theory makes it appear as though the person has some control over everything, or the theory makes the believer seem to be the hero in everything. Conspiracy theories often affect how someone is looked at, and sometimes the effects are good, but they are often bad. Often we have to theorize about things in our everyday lives to figure something out.
Conspiracy theories often align with what someone already thinks. This often leads them to believe in the theory even easier than they would if they did not think that way. An example would be if someone disliked Hillary Clinton. Then they read about the pizzagate theory, where she is said to have coded emails that contained talk about pedophilia and human trafficking. After reading this, they would believe it even if it is not true because they already dislike her.
Conspiracy theories can help people feel as though they have control over situations. Many studies have found that people often make up and believe in conspiracy theories when feeling anxious or powerless. The theories can help them feel “in control” because they think they know what happened and why. An example of this would be after people read about the Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment, where 600 men were told they would be treated for “bad blood” by doctors and believed the doctors. It turned out that they were not being treated at all. Someone might not trust doctors for a while after that because they want to have control over what happens to them.
Sometimes people create conspiracy theories about things that happen. This is done because people often want to feel as though they are the hero in their story or somehow make a positive change. An example would be that if someone were to see a homeless person and decides to give them $50, they believe that they will go spend that money on food, drink, and clothes. This, in their mind, makes them seem like the hero in the story, but if the homeless person were to use the money to buy drugs or gamble, they would not be the hero. Instead, they just helped to feed their addiction.
Sometimes conspiracy theories change the way someone is looked at positively. This can happen if the theory that is being spread puts that person on a moral “high ground” and says good things about them. An example of this would be that if an article said that Ellen DeGeneres would give all of her money she makes to a research center to help cure cancer, this would put her on a moral high ground. Even if it is not true, people who read this would believe that she is a fantastic person.
Often conspiracy theories change the way someone is looked at negatively, making it seem as though they are bad. This can happen if what is being said about them in the conspiracy theory makes it sound bad. An example of this is Donald Trump claimed that Obama was not born in the United States and that he is secretly Muslim, which means he should not have been able to be president. This can make people have a negative outlook on Obama.
When we have conspiracies about everyday things, it often helps us make decisions and figure out what is going on faster than if we did not. An example of this could be that someone wakes up one day, and they are cold. They theorize that it is cold outside, so they put on warm clothes and figure they are not cold because they are getting sick. This helps us to do everyday things faster because then we are not just sitting there wondering what is going on and running through an endless checklist of things that could be wrong.
While conspiracy theories happen in our everyday lives for various reasons, they are not always helpful and generally end up hurting at least one of the people involved.