The Psychology of Conspiracy Theory

Image result for crack pot

What is the thinking behind a person prone to conspiracy thinking? Why does the fantasy override the reality? Here’s some articles about that. Namely, Karen Douglas who has been doing research into this topic. I’ve included a recent study and article from her and a presentation she gave back in 2012

Psychology Today – Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories? – Jan 6, 2018

Kent Academic Repository – The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories – 2017

Frontiers in Psychology – “What about building 7?” A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories – July 8, 2013 

BBC – The Enduring Appeal of Conspiracy Theories – Jan. 24, 2018

The Conversation – Online conspiracy theorists are more diverse (and ordinary) than most assume – March 28, 2018


For the clip first mentioned in Fantasyland, here’s a young(er) Stephen Colbert debuting his character for the Colbert Report defining the idea of ‘truthiness’—truthiness

After Colbert encapsulated this idea of ‘truthiness’ during the George W. Bush administration, the news media and even academia started exploring this idea of ‘truthiness’. Some articles to consider:

Mercury News – Gut instinct and `truthiness’ overcome scientific facts in public policy arena – July 23, 2007

Scientific American – Scientists Dissect the Psychology of “Truthiness”: Researchers find a simple way to make statements seem truer – October 31, 2012

Georgia State University – Nothing But the Truthiness: A History of Television News  Parody and its Entry into the Journalistic Field – Curt W. Hersey – August 13, 2013

Psychology Today – The Dangers of “Truthiness” – September 25, 2009

CBS News: The Truth of Truthiness – December 12, 2006

The Week: How America Skidded from ‘Truthiness’ to ‘Post-Truth’- November 29, 2016


Kurt Andersen

For this post I’m going to do something unusual. Kurt Andersen did Charlie Rose so I’m going to post a snippet from that interview.

The other thing I want to show is a talk he gave at the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival before the release of the book.

The Charlie Rose interview is a lot more refined in terms of how the author presents his book. It’s much more of a raw idea and conversation in the Aspen Ideas talk. Both I think give a picture of the author’s thoughts.

June’s Book: Fantasyland

The book for June is: Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History


This book is available at the Circulation Desk for people to pick up. Our meeting will be June 25th at 7pm on the 3rd floor of the library.

REMINDER: Discussion on 5/21


Our discussion for Empire of Sin by Gary Krist is on May 21st at 7pm in Room H on the 2nd floor near the Reference Desk.

David Hennessy Articles

Here are some articles from the time of Hennessy’s death. I couldn’t get access to the NOLA Times-Picayune, but national stories did run. One such stories was published in the Chicago Tribune. I found these articles through the library’s Access Newspaper Archive database.


THEIR WRATH FELT – New Philadelphia Times










Here’s a few articles about Storyville, New Orlean’s old vice quarter. These articles include photos from EJ Bellocq, a photographer that hung out in Storville and took pictures of the prostitutes who worked it.


Gary Krist

Here is Gary Krist giving a book talk at the 2014 Louisiana Book Fair 

May’s Book: Empire of Sin


May’s book is Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and The Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist. Copies can be picked up at the Circulation Desk to check out.

The discussion will be held on May 21st in Room H, on the 2nd floor of the library near the Reference Desk.


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