Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to tell a Conspiracy Theorist from a Conspiracy Believer

In a previous post I discussed how some conspiracy theorists aren't really conspiracy theorists, and that those people should instead be called "conspiracy believers".

While I did point out some basic differences between the two, I didn't really go into to much detail into what those differences really are.

Here I have put together a list of things that conspiracy theorists tend to do that sets them apart from conspiracy believers:


Conspiracy theorists has certain words that they tend to use and is quite common for them to use in a conversation (or argument). Some of the more common words used are shill, sheeple, blue pill, red pill, and dis-info agent.

There are of course more then just that, but if you hang around enough conspiracy theorist websites (or get into an argument with a conspiracy theorist on Youtube) you'll learn more of them.

Creating conspiracy theories

One of the primary things that set conspiracy theorists apart from conspiracy believers is that conspiracy theorists actually create conspiracy theories.

Many of these conspiracy theories tend to be either expanding on a already established conspiracy theory, or a conspiracy thats directed at them. Of course, sometimes conspiracy theorists create entirely new conspiracy theories as well.

Emotional Reactions

While conspiracy believers might not become to emotional when discussing a conspiracy theory that they believe in, many conspiracy theorists on the other hand tend to become emotional when they discuss a conspiracy theory they believe. The levels of emotional reactions varies depending on how important the conspiracy theory is to that person, how much they believe the alledged conspiracy affects them, and if the person they are discussing the conspiracy theory with believes them or not.

The use of logical fallacies

While conspiracy believers try to avoid using logical fallacies, conspiracy theorists on the other hand tend to use them all the time, and appear to not even know that they are doing so.

While logical fallacies of all types tend to be used, two of the most common types used are association fallacy and emotional appeal.

Rejection of contradicting and disproving evidence

Conspiracy believers, while they many or may not stop believing in a conspiracy theory once they have been given evidence that can prove the conspiracy theory that they believe in is not true (or at least having a high probability of not being true) conspiracy theorist on the other hand tends to reject any evidence that contradicts and/or disproves what they believe, unless there is something in that evidence that they feel actually proves the conspiracy theory they believe in.

Confirmation bias

While both conspiracy believers and conspiracy theorists tend to have confirmation bias, conspiracy theorists tends to see any small piece of evidence as being absolute confirmation that the conspiracy theory they believe in is true, no matter small it is, no matter if it is taken out of context or not, and no matter if it is even real or not. Conspiracy believers at least will see evidence as just that, evidence, and is more willing to disregard such evidence if it can be proven to them that it isn't true, or taken out of context.

Inappropriate behavior

Conspiracy believers tend to be civil, and tries not to engage in behaviors that would be considered inappropriate because they tend not to get frustrated with people who don't believe them. Conspiracy theorists on the other hand tends to get frustrated pretty easily, and because of this they get angry easily and start behaving in ways that many people would consider to be inappropriate. Examples of this would be insults, threats, spamming internet threads, vileness, manipulation, personal attacks, stalking, harassment, creating inappropriate conspiracy theories, defending another person's inappropriate behavior, and engaging in behavior that most people would consider to be disturbing.

Seeing people who disagree with them as their enemy

When a conspiracy believer talks to some one who doesn't believe in the conspiracy theory that they believe in they will only think of that person as someone who simply disagrees with them. A conspiracy theorist on the other hand sees a person who disagrees with them as being their enemy that is working for whatever group that they believe is committing the conspiracy that they believe in, or at the very least someone who is less intelligent then they are, and therefore (in their minds) more prone to believing whatever they are told by said group.

Belief that what they are doing is the right thing

While both conspiracy believers and conspiracy theorists believe that believing in certain conspiracy theories is okay, conspiracy theorists tend to take it a step further by spreading these conspiracy theories and "correcting" those who disagree with them. They do this because they strongly believe to be real the conspiracy theories that they believe in, and because of that they tend to think that anything they do to promote these conspiracy theories is okay and the right thing to do.