Peacock Scholarship

The Prevalence of Conspiracy Theories in Contemporary American Society

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Within the past decade, American politics seemed to have become more divided, and with this has come the spread of more radical beliefs in mainstream culture. This includes conspiracy theories, which can be described as an attempt "to explain the ultimate causes of significant social and political events and circumstances with claims of secret plots by two or more powerful actors" (Brugger 2022). This study aims to show how conspiracy theories are spread and why people believe them. This was done by administering surveys to both students and adults, primarily at Saint Peter's University in Jersey City, New Jersey, to get an idea of what an average person understands or believes about various popular conspiracy theories. Interviews were also conducted with both believers and nonbelievers to further learn about the mindset of both groups. Finally, analysis was conducted of two major conspiracy theory websites, in order to see what kind of information is commonly spread among conspiracy theory circles.

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  • 06/13/2023
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