“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.
Excellent article by Jonah Lehrer of the New Yorker.
"I know so much I don't know where to begin" http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/frontal-cortex/2012/06/daniel-kahneman-bias-studies.html
Which is related to "Smart people don't think others are stupid": http://sivers.org/ss
My experience is that I cant tell someone what I think the truth is and expect positive results. I can only present information that may excite them to discover the connections I think are important. A person who discovers something is more likely to become active than a person who is told they were wrong about something.
The difference between the two outcomes is directly related to the way information is presented. Is it adversarial or interesting?
Occasionally people can agree on the input to a function and the function specification, and they will regard the answer as true, but only the experience of evaluating the facts can really convince a person. Just telling them does not work.... and it shouldn't.
The 9/11 Commissioners and Other Officials Don’t Believe the Government
The 9/11 Commissioners and congressional investigators into 9/11 themselves don’t believe the government’s description of events.
Much of the world doesn’t believe the official story.
Mental Health Professionals Say that Questioning 9/11 Is the Sane Thing To Do
Many mental health professionals have concluded that the official version of 9/11 is false, and that those who believe the official version suffer from defense mechanisms. For example:
On 9/11 Truth Awakening I posted a blog about "The Backfire Effect" which I have seen referenced in a few other places. Here are some excerpts.
There is an interesting article: “The Backfire Effect“, by David McRaney, cross-posted on OpEdNews with the subtitle: Why Showing People the Truth Sometimes Makes Them Believe BS Even More. This is interesting not just because of the article, but the reaction in comments that follow.
It starts out well enough, citing a recent study previously mentioned in this blog, conveniently summarized:
The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.
The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.
One day, he decided to talk to people on the subway...
Please let me know what you think about this, honestly i still felt hesitant to release this but I decided to do it anyway to see your reaction and where I should go next with my work. I recently been through a hard time in my life and I am trying to find myself through expressing myself, if I am on the wrong path let me know.
Featured by Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times:
The Psychology of 9/11, An Interview with Ken Jenkins
Live internet radio interview today at 2pm (pacific)
I will be guest hosting for Carol Brouillet on her weekly show, Community Currency, and interviewing Ken Jenkins on the Progressive Radio Network
If you have questions for Ken or I, please email me at:
marin911truth (at) gmail (dot) com
We may also do some call in toward the end of the hour.
Hope to get some good feedback from all of you.
Be well and enjoy the day!
John William Wright
[edit -LW] - Here are links to the Ken Jenkin's article we mentioned on the show:
We need to take a look at what forces in American society are preventing people from being able to resist tyranny and dehumanization.
By Joan Brunwasser and Bruce E. Levine
March 23, 2010
Editor's Note: The following is the transcript of a recent interview with Bruce E. Levine by OpEd News' Joan Brunwasser. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007).
Joan Brunwasser: Back in December, you wrote 'Are+Americans+a+Broken+People?+Why+We've+Stopped+Fighting+Back+Against+the+Forces+of+Oppression.' Could you tell our readers about your theory?
Monday, February 22, 2010
Biologists and sociologists tell us that our brains evolved in small groups or tribes.
As one example of how profoundly the small-group environment affected our brains, Daily Galaxy points out:
Research shows that one of the most powerful ways to stimulate more buying is celebrity endorsement. Neurologists at Erasmus University in Rotterdam report that our ability to weigh desirability and value doesn’t function normally if an item is endorsed by a well-known face. This lights up the brain’s dorsal claudate nucleus, which is involved in trust and learning. Areas linked to longer-term memory storage also fire up. Our minds overidentify with celebrities because we evolved in small tribes. If you knew someone, then they knew you. If you didn’t attack each other, you were probably pals.
(I stumbled upon these great analyses of human behavior, and found some remarkable similarities to the in-fighting going on in the truth movement. Recommended reading -- SnowCrash)
The Three Faces Of Victim
Whether we know it, or not, most of us react to life as victims. Whenever we refuse to take responsibility for ourselves, we are unconsciously choosing to react as victim. This inevitably creates feelings of anger, fear, guilt or inadequacy and leaves us feeling betrayed, or taken advantage of by others. Victim-hood can be defined by the three positions beautifully outlined in a diagram developed by a well respected psychiatrist, and teacher of Transactional Analysis, named Stephen Karpman. He calls it the “drama triangle”, I will refer to it as the victim triangle. Having discovered this resource some thirty years ago, it has become one of the more important tools in my personal and professional life. The more I teach and apply the victim triangle to relationship the deeper my appreciation grows for this simple, powerfully accurate instrument.
"Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." --Thomas Jefferson
THE BATTLE FOR BELIEF : A SOCIOLOGISTS RESEARCH IN 9/11 ARGUMENTATION — MICHAEL ARMENIA
We are at war, and one of the most critical and dangerous frontline is not in Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran. Rather, it is the battleground within the human psyche. Individual and collective minds are waging psychological warfare in what promises to be one of the most intense struggles in American history, if not all of human history. How do we communicate the truth about the events of 9/11 to those who have been deceived by the operation and its cover-up in the media? Are logic, reason, and science enough?
June 15, 2009
Why the resistance to 9-11 truth?- UPDATE
By Carol Wolman
This paper was first published in Feb. 2007. It received over 100 comments at op-ed news, and I’m still getting requests from people who want to make comments, so I’m reposting it.
President Obama is continuing the 9-11 coverup. Meanwhile, more and more professionals- architects and engineers, intelligence officers, health care workers- are giving speeches denouncing the coverup, and circulating petitions to have a new, impartial investigation focusing on the question which was never asked the first time-
Mr Swami has very kindly sent me the proofs for the article. Since it remains unpublished I will not upload the article and provide a link. What I have done here is an edited list of the 17 statements and the mean rating (in brackets) presented to participants entitled "9/11 Conspiracists Beliefs" scale
(The collapse of WTC7 was not included in the scale):
1 = Totally False
9 = Totally True
The World Trade Centre was destroyed by explosives (2.81)
The World Trade Centre were brought down by controlled demolition (2.90)
Aircraft were controlled by the US military (2.93)
Mobile phone calls were fabricated or not made at all (3.27)
Exercises were intentionally held on 9/11 to deliberately confuse military personnel (3.29)
The US military were ordered to stand down (3.44)
The Pentagon was possibly hit by a missile (3.50)
Intact windows and lack of debris prove the Pentagon was not hit by a plane (3.51)
Reports of hijacker still alive prove that others were responsible (3.51)
The US Govt allowed the attack to happen so it would have an excuse to achieve foreign and domestic goals (3.71)
United Flight 93 was shot down (3.76)
John Mitchell was the Attorney-General during the Nixon administration.
His wife - Martha Mitchell - told her psychologist that top White House officials were engaged in illegal activities. Her psychologist labeled these claims as caused by mental illness.
Ultimately, however, the relevant facts of the Watergate scandal vindicated her.
In fact, psychologists have now given a label - the "Martha Mitchell Effect" - to "the process by which a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health clinician mistakes the patient's perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly".
The authors of a paper on this phenomenon ( Bell, V., Halligan, P.W., Ellis, H.D. (2003) Beliefs About Delusions. The Psychologist, 6 (8), 418-422) conclude:
A new article in U.S. News & World Report quotes a couple of psychologists, one sociologist and one historian to argue that people who question the government's version of 9/11 are prone to false thinking.
Initially, remember that, while there are many honorable psychologists and psychiatrists, psychologists helped to create the U.S. torture program, and actively participated in it.
These polls numbers provide data to back up what historians and social engineers already knew; a 9/11-type attack would rouse patriotic fervor and suppress dissent. It's not evidence 9/11 was allowed or made to happen, but it's evidence that many among the "elite" would have understood the likely effect of a 9/11 would be a license for war and draconian domestic security measures- and that with a few layers of plausible deniability, they could insulate themselves blame and consequences- if there were public and Congressional support for inquiries. FDR and LBJ were given similar license after Pearl Harbor and the Gulf of Tonkin, and "mainstream" criticism doesn't address FDR's plan to provoke the Japanese, or US foreknowledge of the attack plans (Stinnett), or that the Gulf of Tonkin 2nd incident never happened (NSA docs).
Real, and threatened, terrorism boosts self-esteem
by: Chris Bowers
Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 14:36