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How to talk to someone about conspiracy theories in five simple steps

By Daniel Jolley, Assistant Professor in Social Psychology, University of Nottingham
Karen Douglas, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Kent
Mathew Marques, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology, La Trobe University
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People’s first instinct when engaging with conspiracy believers is often to try and debunk their ideas with factual and authoritative information.

However, direct confrontation rarely works. Conspiracy theories are persuasive, often playing on people’s feelings and sense of identity. Even if debunking conspiracy theories was effective, it’s difficult to keep up with how quickly they appear and how widespread they travel. A study showed that during 2015 and 2016, the number…The Conversation

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