Conspiracy theories are a genre of narrative that has been with us for millennia and has had a significant impact on our society. But what might explain their cultural success? This lecture explains how culturally successful conspiracy theories appeal to a combination of fundamental aspects of human psychology. In the exercise you will code examples of popular conspiracy theories from the last sixty years and assess their appeal.
This project was supported by Grant #61105 from the John Templeton Foundation to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (PIs: S. Gavrilets and P. J. Richerson) with assistance from the Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The Cultural Evolution Society's Online Learning Tutorial Series is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For designers' contact information, click here.