Comfort and Agency

Two key dimensions that perhaps explain why some people are particularly vulnerable to conspiracy-theory irrationality, hinted at by a recent New York Times article by Sabrina Tavernise about "One Woman's Journey Out of QAnon". A central paragraph:

The theories seem crazy to Ms. Perron now, but looking back, she understands how they drew her in. They were comforting, a way to get her bearings in a chaotic world that felt increasingly unequal and rigged against middle-class people like her. These stories offered agency: Evil cabals could be defeated. A diffuse sense that things were out of her control could not.

That is:

(cf Stupidity and Conspiracy (2001-02-05), Absence of Evidence (2003-03-17), Honest Voting Machines (2006-09-19), Reasonists (2009-09-09), Consparancy and Transpiracy (2010-08-06), Conspiracy Theory Recognition (2011-02-02), Pearl Harbor - Barriers to Warning (2017-12-12), ...) - ^z - 2021-02-03