The relationship between schizotypal facets and conspiracist beliefs via cognitive processes

David Barron*, Adrian Furnham, Laura Weis, Kevin D. Morgan, Tony Towell, Viren Swami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study sought to replicate previous work showing relationships between components of schizotypy and conspiracist beliefs, and extend it by examining the mediating role of cognitive processes. An international online sample of 411 women and men (mean age = 35.41 years) completed measures of the schizotypal facets of Odd Beliefs or Magical Thinking and Ideas of Reference, conspiracist beliefs, and cognitive processes related to need for cognition, analytic thinking, and cognitive insight. Path analysis confirmed the associations between both schizotypal facets and conspiracist beliefs in the present sample. Confirmatory evidence was found for the association between analytic thinking and conspiracist beliefs, and results also suggested an association between cognitive insight and conspiracist beliefs. Cognitive insight also mediated the link between Odd Beliefs or Magical Thinking and Ideas of Reference with conspiracist beliefs. However, analytic thinking provided a mediating link to conspiracy ideation for Odd Beliefs or Magical Thinking and not Ideas of Reference. Finally, there was an association between Odd Beliefs or Magical Thinking and need for cognition, but this path did not extend to conspiracist beliefs. These results suggest possible mediating roles for analytic thinking and self-certainty between schizotypy and conspiracist beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume259
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Analytic thinking
  • Cognitive processes
  • Conspiracist beliefs
  • Conspiracy theories
  • Schizotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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