Rôle fonctionnel de l'adhésion aux théories du complot : un moyen de distinction ?

Abstract : In this thesis, we argue that the desire to be different from others (i.e., the need for uniqueness) would foster the adoption and increase of conspiracy beliefs. This relationship may be due to the fact that people with high need for uniqueness are more likely to be attracted by what is scarce and unavailable. We argue that scarcity and unavailability specifically characterizes conspiracy narratives (e.g., the conviction to hold secret information). We present 12 studies testing empirically this hypothesis.Among our main results, we show that people with high level of beliefs in conspiracy theories think that they have a higher level of beliefs in these theories compared to others (Studies 4, 5 and 6), that is a necessary prerequisite to our hypothesis. Then, we highlighted that people with a high need for uniqueness believe more in conspiracy theories (Study 8). According to our hypothesis, we also demonstrate that high believers in conspiracy theories are more likely to think that they possess secret information about various conspiracies (Study 9). A meta-analysis conducted on two studies testing the causal role of need for uniqueness on conspiracy beliefs (Studies 11 and 12) suggests that a situation in which need for uniqueness is enhanced increases people's conspiracy beliefs.Taken together, these studies suggest that the need for uniqueness plays a role in the endorsement of conspiracy theories, although the effect size seems relatively modest. To conclude, this thesis is one of the few works devoted to exploring the role of motivational explanations for conspiracy beliefs.
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Anthony Lantian. Rôle fonctionnel de l'adhésion aux théories du complot : un moyen de distinction ?. Psychologie. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAS006⟩. ⟨tel-01251554⟩

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