A newly published paper in a psychology journal offers the distressing conclusion that conspiracy theorists are prone to commit petty crimes. The unfortunate findings reportedly come via a pair of studies conducted by researchers in England. The first found that those who subscribe to conspiracy theories are also “more accepting of everyday crime” and the second survey determined that these individuals were likely to engage in such behavior in the future.
According to the paper, these hypothetical transgressions were along the lines of “trying to claim for replacement items, refunds or compensation from a shop when they were not entitled to do so.” The reasoning for why conspiracy theorists may be more willing to embrace the proverbial ‘five-finger discount,’ researchers argue, is that their alternative worldview causes them to become disconnected from the shared social contract in which such actions are frowned upon.
While one can take some solace in the fact that the study did not find that the possible crimes were particularly egregious, the overall conclusion is troubling nonetheless, since it paints conspiracy theorists in a rather unfavorable light. No doubt those who advocate for such controversial concepts will counter with the claim that the research was designed to do that very thing and is part of a larger agenda aimed at undermining their ideas.