Formation of conspiracy theories creates more questions than answers

All throughout history, Americans have demonstrated high levels of suspicion toward centralized authority and unexplained events.

In April 2015, there was a study conducted by Scott Radnitz and Patrick Underwood to determine whether the belief in conspiracy theories is pathological, or if they are linked to social tensions.

In this survey, random subjects were given mock news articles to bring about conspiracy beliefs. The results show that these different opinions can emerge from both “situational triggers” as well as “subtle contextual variables.”

I think that often these opinions can go far beyond a general distrust, and ultimately it expresses the essential fears of many individuals. The possibility of supporting conspiracy theories could be strongly projected by a willingness to believe in other unseen or intentional forces. Many of these theories are also created by people who make judgments or try to explain phenomena in certain social or political situations.

Today, there are theories on subjects ranging from Chemtrails to debating if Earth is flat. Although those are only two of various topics that have been brought about, I believe all theories share one common factor.

636232085399256659-978523634_social-media-account-management-issues-businessIt’s the feeling of powerlessness that drives individuals to formulate conspiracy theories. It helps regain a sense of confidence, and it also helps engage in collective action within society, whether it is to bring peace to one’s self or to try to create chaos.

It’s hard to say where I stand when it comes to the idea of understanding and discussing a theory, no matter the topic. For example, I have had many unrealistic but logical conversations about the Illuminati or Reptilian Elites taking over our government. With those type of discussions, I end up leaning more toward it may not be true.

To seek explanations and to constantly ask why certain events happen the way they do is simply a natural human desire. I’m not stating that these theories cannot be true. Through my own research, I’ve found that the Illuminati was a cult that existed in 1776, and possibly even before that. However, when arguing if it is a cult that still exists to this day, the idea of a secret society within our own to create a New World Order seems highly unlikely, but not impossible.

On the other hand, when it comes to deliberations such as if the moon landing was filmed in Hollywood or if Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the JFK assassination, when looking at solid facts and different points of views, it can be hard to even consider what the truth could be. Of course, there are hundreds of different ways to look at a theory and to evaluate specific events before and after it took place. But it can be hard uncovering the truth if there even is something to discover to begin with.

That’s what I find to be somewhat terrifying about the world that we live in. We never truly know what is going on around us. Within our own government or even in our home towns, the world is full of dark secrets. Many truths have been buried so deep they may never be uncovered again.

Author: Kaitlyn Hyde

I am a Photojournalism major at SPC from the Houston area. Photo Editor for the Plainsman Press, this is my first semester working on the staff.

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