"Why Do People Believe Crazy Conspiracy Theories?" Wonder Crazy Conspiracy Theory Peddling Media

"Why do seemingly sane people believe bizarre conspiracy theories?" asks NBC News.

It's talking about QAnon, instead of its own claims that Trump is really a Russian agent controlled by Moscow, and that the Russians rigged the election by posting "fake news" to Facebook. And that the only answer to this urgent crisis, which is worse than 9/11, Pearl Harbor and the end of disco music, is to completely control social media and the internet to eliminate all non-media fake news.

"If it sounds crazy, that’s because it is. The mostly right-wing conspiracy theory makes a series of mind-blowing allegations that include Democrat-run centers for pedophiles and Satanic cults."

As opposed to the mostly left-wing conspiracy theory which claims that the Russians have footage of Trump with urinating prostitutes and that Chabad Jewish Chassidism are the pipeline for controlling him through the NRA.

But that's the super-serious conspiracy theory on which Obama's eavesdropping on Trump associates and the Mueller investigation, not to mention 90% of the media's non-viral video output, is based.

The theory first appeared on various online message boards like “8Chan,” where followers shared “bread crumbs” — clues — about the dark and powerful forces that supposedly run their country.

As opposed to the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post and NBC News where the media digs up clues about the vast Russo-Trump conspiracy involving Ukraine weapons shipments, the UK, Australia, Chinese brands, the NRA, and Trump's weight gain.

It would be tempting to dismiss those who believe such bizarre ideas as mentally ill.

Does that explain Jim Acosta?

Putting aside the fact that some conspiracy theories turn out to be true (e.g., Watergate is arguably an example of a real conspiracy)

Conspiracy theories the left believes in are real, those the right believes in aren't. That's not a conspiracy theory. It's just the fact of media bias.

In the dark ages, witch hunts were based on the belief that young women gathered in the woods to conspire with the devil, 

... or in modern media times, with the NRA, the lefty devil.

"and many traditional societies still accuse enemy tribes of sorcery to harm or control them."

Just ask Hillary Clinton and her seances. Or the witches casting a mass spell on Trump.

Each month, thousands of witches cast a spell against Donald Trump - How the witches of the #MagicResistance rise up against the Trump administration - VOX

But I'm sorry, I know NBC News wants to talk about how lefties are sane, rational people while the right is nuts.

First, accepting one conspiracy theory as true makes it much easier to believe in other theories. Studies from the mid-1990s found that the single best predictor of conspiracy thinking is the belief in a different conspiracy theory.

Like believing that the Steele dossier, the conspiracy text financed by the Clinton campaign and accepted by the FBI, is true despite its many contradictions and absurd claims?

Studies by a group of political scientists revealed that Republicans are more likely to believe governmental conspiracy theories when a Democrat is president, while Democrats are more likely to believe governmental conspiracy theories when a Republican is president. Qanon is a more extreme example of a fairly consistent pattern: 

I don't think you understand quite what you're saying there, pal.

Democrats are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories when a Republican is president. Like the time you guys decided to believe that Trump only won because he's a Russian spy? But sure, take refuge in more QAnon whataboutism. Democracy dies in darkness. And all that.

We have to understand the psychological triggers and motivations if we want to mitigate the influence and potential dangers of this kind of thinking. 

Like a Republican winning an election?

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