[Serious] Why do some people believe influencers, online forums, QAnon etc. more than established science, professionals and media?

[Serious] Why do some people believe influencers, online forums, QAnon etc. more than established science, professionals and media?

What do you think?

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  1. Because they believe whatever fits their preconceived notions.

    Because it allows them to feel superior to those who don’t see their “truth.”

    Because they lack the critical thinking skills to analyse what they read.

  2. The American Psychological Association had a good podcast about this.

    To summarize there are three main reasons people believe conspiracy theories.

    1) the need for certainty. Legitimate journalism often doesn’t have hard answers as to the why of things during a crisis. People however want to know the answers for sure.

    2) The need to feel safe and secure in the world they live in. If a conspiracy gives a definitive answer for why they feel powerless, then it gives back some measure of control.

    3) People’s desires to feel good of themselves as individuals and feel good about the groups they belong too. Basically, being the bearer of secret knowledge is a self esteem boost.

  3. Because it fits what they want to believe, and investigating for themselves requires effort they aren’t willing to make when they’re already satisfied.

  4. Everyone has a bias. Everyone wants to be correct. Therefore, we seek out groups and sources that align with our personal beliefs. We also program ourselves to be more receptive to things we’re fixated on (bias confirmation).

    Personally, I do not trust the media at all. I find it funny that the thread title groups “media” with “established science” and “professionals” when it has been proven time and time again that the media jump to conclusions, falsify/manipulate data, refuse to acknowledge mistakes, and operate with extreme bias. Those of us who see it tend to approach everything as a skeptic. CNN, Fox, NPR, NBC, doesn’t matter who, they’re all guilty.

    As for QAnon, that one gained notoriety because it became the face of a movement that everyone loves to mislabel and attack. A friend of mine became obsessed with the Qanon movement and would send me “Q-drops” all the time. Some of the assertions seemed grounded and plausible, others were bizarre and obviously farfetched. Some of the predictions were eerily accurate. I told him it sounded like a fancy LARP and not to let it consume him. He, like many others, followed Qanon because of the promise of a coming ultimate justice against corrupt elites. Nice idea though, right?

    Here’s something to consider. Nothing is as easy as “right vs wrong.” Everything is so convoluted and has truth mixed with lies and manipulations- two sides of the same coin. What was universally accepted as “correct” back in February isn’t so correct now. The heroes of yesterday are the villains of today, especially once their checkbooks get exposed. It’s a mess. Picking anyone and saying “this person is good and truthful” is a gamble you won’t win.

    Here’s the danger with subscribing to any group- you’re essentially outsourcing all of your thinking and decision making to them. That herd-mentality is where people get lost in a cause they know nothing about, and honestly wouldn’t even care about if their peers weren’t so fervent on the topic.

  5. I think its also in large part how the information is presented. Influencers have a tendency to present information in a simple to understand manner, and often with clickbaits. People also enjoy engaging with these influencers and other readers in the comments section. So this might be why they are more prone to reading information from them and hence to susceptible to their “influence”.

  6. social media is in front of our faces everyday. our brains have been completely rewired to think it’s the end all, be all of information. it’s also available at your fingertips constantly. id much rather google how to cure my depression than go see a counselor

  7. Gullibility and denial. It’s easier to believe some idiot on the internet then face the reality of certain situations. They don’t want to believe things like JFK Jr actually died in a plane crash 20 plus years ago, they would rather believe he’s coming back out of hiding to save America.

  8. Everything everyone else has said plus the fact that their only sources of information support their beliefs. The internet/social media is designed to “push” the products and information that you show interest in. So everything and everyone they see online supports these crazy ideas so in their minds they must be true. You really only have to hear about a crazy concept from a few sources before your brain goes” oh well it must be true EVERYONE is saying so”… Plus 24 hour “news” that is also supporting some of the most asinine things out there…. how can you tell someone it’s bunk when they hear it on the News?!! The new anchors and broadcasting companies should be brought up on criminal charges for spreading dangerous and misleading information!

  9. I think it’s a natural reaction to repeated sensationalism/lies from the media. Most main media outlets have proven that they’re more interested in revenue than the truth. And when that behavior is repeated long enough, people start looking for alternatives. It’s expected that the majority of these people would flock to the diametric opposite of whatever the media is pushing.

    I also think this is the cause for any major mistrust of experts. Years of sensationalizing studies, taking titles out of context, and misrepresenting testimony has damaged the public’s opinion of most authority figures, including scientists and professionals.

  10. Not saying QAnon is right but to say the MSM is a realize source of information is funny. There has always been an agenda and when there isn’t, they feed outrage and outlandish stories especially now when they are competing against independent journalist and news sources

  11. Because we have a corrupt news media that lies to you on a daily basis, much of the established professionals and “science” you claim is either told through the lying media and/or is via science channels that are easily corruptible based on government funding and money. Additionally as a bonus now, social media companies have started outright bans on free speech for content…. You know for “Safety”.

    So you effectively get lied to, can’t question it or the sources of it that are just as questionable as anything else.

    This is all pretty easy stuff for anyone to see but most are hopeless NPCs that trust whatever propaganda comes from their TV box.

  12. People like “simple” explanations rather than actually doing the work to understand some of these complicated things in life. I respect people’s right to believe in religion, but to say “The Bible has the answers for everything” ignores the complicated issues that go beyond the scope of an ancient book. Yes, science can be wrong, but scientists continually seek to improve their work and build on it. Professionals can be corrupt but many times this comes to light, especially in this age of “Digital Transparency”. The media can be biased, but by listening to stories from all of the different viewpoints and filtering the bias we can see the clearest picture of what really happened. And hey, maybe we’re all wrong and everything is a lie and earth was created 6000 years ago and God is going to punish everyone who doesn’t follow some specific faith… but I haven’t seen the evidence presented yet to convince me.

    Also, some of these groups punish you for disagreement. I’m living proof. I’m a PIMO (physically in, mentally out) Jehovah’s Witness. I started to question the Bible and the religion and when I told someone about my doubts I was told to pray more, read the Bible more, and engage in their preaching work more and I would feel better. I said that’s what I was already doing and it was making it worse. So then I was threatened that if I said anything publicly that my life would be made miserable. Most JW’s are nice people… until you present them with evidence that they are wrong.

  13. Most people aren’t scientists themselves. In order for them to learn science, they have to trust a scientist. But most people also don’t have access to scientists, except through media. And our media is just awful when it comes to trustworthiness. All the lies and intentional misinformation they spread, and you expect their previous victims to trust the scientists they choose to put forward on a particular subject? If you want people to trust science, you need to hold scientists and the media accountable when they lie.

  14. Because they believe that government officials and doctors are lying to them. So they believe that not because they trust the source, but because they distrust the other.

  15. Here’s an example of two politicians running for the same position.

    Politician One: I’ve spent several years crafting this 800 page policy report that will benefit my constituents in many ways. It covers many aspects of day-to-day life and is guaranteed to improve quality of life over the course of the next 15 to 20 years.

    Politician Two: Get a load of this *nerd* with his goddamn 800 page telephone book of crap he expects us to read. I hate everything you hate so who are you going to vote for? Me? Or Poindexter over there with his socialist commie Nazi bullshit report?

    Seriously, the reason people believe influencers and Qanan and all that crap is because they’re lazy and stupid. Jumping into an echo chamber is super easy to do because it requires almost zero effort or critical thinking. And for a lot of people it makes digesting difficult topics really easier to handle.

    Just look at something like a school shooting. For a lot of people it’s extremely difficult to process a tragedy like that. Both mentally and emotionally. And then, once you’ve actually processed it, you need to step back and take a long look at it using logic and reason in order to try and understand the causes so that you can try to figure out a way to stop it from happening in the future. This is a very sad and draining thing to do and you’re almost 100% certain to come to at least a few conclusions you don’t like.

    On the other hand if you say it was all a “False Flag” operation and everyone involved were government agents and “crisis actors” all of a sudden you don’t need to process shit. In fact, not only do you not have to acknowledge or even think of about this unspeakable tragedy now you’re actually a goddamn hero who is out there fighting to bring the truth to light so the faceless “Deep State” is finally brought to justice.

    The TL;DR is believing crazy shit is easy, fun and sexy.

  16. It’s likely preferable to attribute the current state of the world to the machinations of some hyper-capable cabal working against humanity as a whole…

    … because the alternative is to admit that humanity is just fucking stupid

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