Behavioral Grooves Podcast
Behavioral Grooves Podcast
Kurt Nelson, PhD and Tim Houlihan
Feeling Fearful: Why People Seek Out Conspiracy Theories | Eric Oliver
1 hour 25 minutes Posted Nov 21, 2021 at 1:03 am.
) Welcome and speed round.
) What characteristics predict whether you will believe in conspiracy theories?
) People rely on heuristics in times of uncertainty.
) Have conspiracy theories increased since Covid?
) What factors make us more likely to believe conspiracy theories?
) Do religious people tend to believe more in conspiracy theories?
) Why Donald Trump appeals to conspiracy theorists.
) How to talk to your relatives about their conspiracy theories?
) What music does Eric listen to?
) Grooving session with Tim and Kurt discussing Eric's work.
0:00
1:25:48
Download MP3
Show notes
What makes us more likely to believe in conspiracy theories? Can our religious beliefs or political affiliations determine whether we're less likely to believe in scientific facts? Why are health conspiracy theories some of the most widely believed notions? We revisit a conversation with Eric Oliver who talks us through the factors that drive people towards conspiracy theories.
Eric Oliver, PhD is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Although the majority of his work is squarely in the realm of how we view our political systems and make political decisions, some of his work echoes moral psychology and sociology, and we find it fascinating. And, frankly, some of it is just downright fun to talk about.
Eric’s observations come from more than 20 years of research, dozens of peer-reviewed papers, and he is the author of 5 books on political science. We specifically talked about how liberals and conservatives name their children, the rise of intuitionism, having dinner with a sports star rather than a rock star, and of course, he spoke in-depth about conspiracy theories.
Most importantly, he walked us through some key aspects of how to have a conversation with someone who is on the opposite side of the conspiracy-theory belief system and, interestingly enough, it begins with empathy. Listen to the entire episode to hear all his insights and research anecdotes. They’ll put a smile on your face as well as fresh ideas into your brain!
We have been fans of his work for some time and are grateful that Eric shared his insights with us. We think you’ll become a fan, too, if you’re not already one.
[NOTE: This episode is republished from our interview with Eric in episode #172 from Sept 2020.]
© 2021 Behavioral Grooves
Topics
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
Links
Eric Oliver, PhD: https://political-science.uchicago.edu/directory/eric-oliver 
Jonathan Haidt, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Haidt 
James Frazer, “The Golden Bough”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Bough 
Katherine Surma on Credulity: https://www.jericoliver.com/uploads/1/1/8/9/118973414/surmaoliver3.5.18-final.pdf 
Laurie Santos, PhD: The Joe Effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GimHHAID_P0 
Steve Kerr: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Kerr 
Colin Kaepernick: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Kaepernick
Charles Manson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Manson 
Andy Luttrell, Episode 175: Pro’s and Con’s of Persuasion When Issues are Moralized: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/andy-luttrell-pros-and-cons-of-persuasion-when-issues-are-moralized/
Kwame Christian, Episode 178: On Compassionate Curiosity, Social Justice Conversations, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/kwame-christian-on-compassionate-curiosity-social-justice-conversations-and-cinnamon-toast-crunch/
Musical Links
LCD Sound System: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqq3BtGrpU8 
Kurt Weil: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Weill 
Phillip Glass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M73x3O7dhmg 
Keith Richards and Chuck Berry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERVLy-ltjHs