A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation which posits the existence of a conspiracy of sinister, powerful groups, usually of political motive, where other explanations are more likely. Political scientist Michael Barkun, discussing the usage of the conspiracy theory in modern American culture, states that this term is used to describe beliefs that explain an event as resulting from a covert plot by extraordinarily powerful and cunning conspirators for the purpose of accomplishing some evil goal. Social scientists such as Dieter Groh have stated that history is too complicated to be controlled by one set of conspirators. While that is hardly true for all conspiracy theories , it seems often that conspiracy theories, regardless of their truth, are a product of genuine imbalances in social power. For example, if you are part of a group which is socially marginalized, or which is lacking in power in significant ways, then you are likely to believe conspiracy theories. Fair Use -- Although believing in a particular group of conspiracies generally means that you are more likely to believe in others , individuals clearly have pretty distinct, nuanced ideas about what they do and do not believe. Obviously, we are sort of starting, I think, with the premise that it is generally found in the literature that if people believe one conspiracy theory, then they are more likely to believe others. Dr. Karen Douglas has done a little bit of research, I think, looking at the way that people perceive others that appear to use conspiracy theories, whether or not they think that these actions are deliberate or deliberate, and what kind of effects this has. Dr. Karen Douglas believes it is certainly the case that while we cannot definitively say that social media has increased conspiracy theories, it has definitely changed how people get that information, how they share that information, and I feel in a lot of cases, for people who really have, I think, underlying tendencies of belief in one specific conspiracy theory, or conspiracy theories generally, that people are finding this kind of information a lot easier to find that kind of information now compared to before, it is a lot easier to find that kind of information than before. In various areas, such as vaccines, climate change, politics across a variety of different areas, particularly the effect conspiracy theories have on peoples attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Roland Imhoffs studies show that the smaller the minority belief in a particular theory, the more appealing that conspiracy theory is. On the basis of Consistency Theory , empathizing produces dissonance at the level of belief targets, which possess positive attributes besides negative ones, which are primarily associated with them by conspiracy believers. The consistency theories , in an attempt to decrease the adoption of the belief in TC, seem to work effectively to generate inconsistencies between being a logical person and irrationality in the belief of the believer of the CT) and between the informative content of previous beliefs and the new information about events or persons associated with conspiracies. This implies that being part of a racial minority is predictive of conspiracy beliefs--so is being unemployed, having a lower economic status, or even simply being part of a cultural group looked down upon by those who are in positions of authority. Given these individuals are described as being largely on the left, it seems to me that an increased prevalence of conspiracy theories in this group is somehow the product of a breakdown of organizing by the broad left. Indeed, interviews conducted by Bradley Franks and his team at LSE suggest they organize quite similar to any other political network: meeting, either online or in person, to discuss their ideas and what to do about them, and developing a social identity around their conspiracy theories, and others who believe them or who do not, or believe in different sets of conspiracies that they do not. The kind of imaginary conspiracies about the taking over the world, blamed on the Illuminati, on Jews, on international bankers, etc., are believable only for people who wish to believe in them. It is supposed to be the product of one grand conspiracy, one so vast in scope that it would dwarf all such prior enterprises in human history. That any tragedy can become so mired in conspiracies is, by now, not surprising. With publication, conspiracies surrounding Black Knight Satellite seem very much alive. Alongside such claims, Invasion served as proof for conspiracy theories that claimed that Vladimir Putin had joined forces with Trump to battle against the alleged Deep State, and had returned stronger than ever, something that was mentioned on QAnon channels from Britain and Italy. While groups accused of plotting against the United States have changed over the years, the characteristics of theories purporting to expose them have remained much the same. In the early years of the Cold War, Communists were seen as sinister forces that were permeating all parts of society, from the film industry to the United States Department of State. In particular, there was a certain amount of sensible debate when corporations were first starting to be formed as to whether or not these new entities were, at their core, simply conspiracies. From that, Jeffersons Federalist opponents leapt to the conclusion that Thomas Jefferson had certainly joined an Illuminati plot years before the Revolution, and was now conspiring against democracy and religion in the Republic. Pat Robertson has invoked the Illuminati in developing his conspiracy theory that modern-day Wall Street and international bankers, together with major business and political leaders such as Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, are using the United Nations to eradicate Christianity and American freedom.