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“What about building 7?”

“What about building 7?” A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories
Michael J. Wood* and Karen M. Douglas*

School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Recent research into the psychology of conspiracy belief has highlighted the importance of belief systems in the acceptance or rejection of conspiracy theories. We examined a large sample of conspiracist (pro-conspiracy-theory) and conventionalist (anti-conspiracy-theory) comments on news websites in order to investigate the relative importance of promoting alternative explanations vs. rejecting conventional explanations for events. In accordance with our hypotheses, we found that conspiracist commenters were more likely to argue against the opposing interpretation and less likely to argue in favor of their own interpretation, while the opposite was true of conventionalist commenters. However, conspiracist comments were more likely to explicitly put forward an account than conventionalist comments were. In addition, conspiracists were more likely to express mistrust and made more positive and fewer negative references to other conspiracy theories. The data also indicate that conspiracists were largely unwilling to apply the “conspiracy theory” label to their own beliefs and objected when others did so, lending support to the long-held suggestion that conspiracy belief carries a social stigma. Finally, conventionalist arguments tended to have a more hostile tone. These tendencies in persuasive communication can be understood as a reflection of an underlying conspiracist worldview in which the details of individual conspiracy theories are less important than a generalized rejection of official explanations.

http://www.frontiersin.org/personality_science_and_individual_differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00409/abstract

Full Text: http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00409/full

"These tendencies in persuasive communication can be understood

....as a reflection of an underlying conspiracist worldview in which the details of individual conspiracy theories are less important than a generalized rejection of official explanations."

This doesn't exactly follow from the rest of their preamble. Not sure I like the tone of this.

The first step in gaining support for any alternative explanation is showing why the official explanations are wrong. Why would this not be enough? Does the paper recognize the efforts that have been made to get acknowledgement of this from the appropriate officials? Does it recognize the coordinated efforts to not only suppress this information, but to discredit those who draw attention to it? (An effort that the authors themselves appear to be participating in.) Does it even recognize that the official explanation for WTC 7, according to the vast majority who have looked into it, is untenable? Given that skepticism about the official 9/11 stories is widespread and global, do the authors recognize the validity of bringing this to official attention? Do they recognize the many documented justifications for not trusting sketchy official information about a controversial event?

Secondly, evidence for CD has been presented by several bodies, including AE911Truth. But it is not up to private citizens to do the investigation and provide the answers. That's what we pay taxes for.

The basic premise

The basic premise is flawed--namely, that matters of science and political power should instead be treated as matters of social psychology. It looks to me like another part of the process of treating critical thinking and political dissent as pathologies. Imagine a study of the eating habits of monkeys, and the subjects were treated as somehow defective because they rejected the bananas they were given--without any of the researchers bothering to consider that the bananas just might have been rotten.

The timing and chosen focal point is interesting as well

with the upcoming Rethink 9/11 / Building 7 ad campaign.

I have only glanced over the article -- anything that uses the unresearched phrase "conspiracist worldview" isn't worth any serious time on a beautiful Sunday afternoon -- but nowhere do I see any recognition that the problems with the WTC 7 official collapse explanations could be valid. For a couple of social psychologists to pick a subject for their study of persuasive communication to not even bother understanding why discussion exists on that topic seems sloppy and illegitimate to me. For very good reasons, Building 7 is the major smoking gun of the 9/11 narrative. It is the one issue that we are most likely to see action on.

It looks more and more like a timed smear piece.

PS: "J.Kay" and "M. Shermer" are included as references - lol. 'Nuff said.