Predictors of belief in conspiracy theory: The role of individual differences in schizotypal traits, paranormal beliefs, social dominance orientation, right wing authoritarianism and conspiracy mentality
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonPersonality and Individual Differences. 2021, 173 . 10.1016/j.paid.2021.110645
Many different predictors for belief in conspiracy theories have been empirically validated in different studies. The current study considers the relative contribution of individual differences in dimensions of schizotypal personality, social dominance orientation (SDO), right wing authoritarianism (RWA), paranormal beliefs (PB) and the newer construct of conspiracy mentality (CM) on belief in conspiracy theories. For predicting belief in specific conspiracy theories, we applied Path analyses with a large convenience sample (N = 883, 62% women) of students from Norway, a highly gender egalitarian country, allowing us to consider the effects of mediators and gender moderation in a specified model. Schizotypal personality dimensions Odd Beliefs and Paranoid Ideation predicted different mediators, and their effects on belief in conspiracy theories were totally mediated. The mediating variables (SDO, RWA, PB, and CM) were all unique predictors of belief in conspiracy theories, with CM having the largest contribution for both sexes. Explorative analyses of the specified model across gender suggest that the model for men and women is not equivalent. Results are discussed in light of the predictive contribution of especially conspiracy mentality.