Rob Brotherton

When?
Wednesday, February 5 2014 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Rob Brotherton

What's the talk about?

 

CHANGE OF SPEAKER: Rob Brotherton on the Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

 

I'm afraid that Charlie Veitch has had to cancel his planned presentation for Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub this coming Wednesday. Fortunately for all those of you with an interest in conspiracy theories, Rob Brotherton has kindly agreed to give us a repeat performance of his excellent talk on the psychology of belief in conspiracy theories (the one he gave as part of the APRU Invited Speaker Series on 28 Jan 2014).

 

Apologies for any inconvenience (and to those you who have already seen Rob's talk - but it's certainly good enough for a second viewing!).

-------

Why do some people believe unproven and implausible conspiracy theories? What’s the harm if they do? And just what is a conspiracy theory, anyway? Rob Brotherton provides a psychological perspective on the peculiar phenomenon of conspiracy theorising. The talk will offer a definition of the tricky-to-define term ‘conspiracy theory’, discuss the consequences of widespread belief in conspiracies, and present psychological research which begins to reveal the allure of conspiracy theories. Of particular interest is research concerning the role of cognitive biases and heuristics – quirks in the way we all think – which suggests that our brains might be wired to detect conspiracies, even where none exist. It seems we’re all intuitive conspiracy theorists – some of us just hide it better than others.

 

Rob completed a PhD in the psychology of conspiracy theories at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he now works as a lecturer. His research primarily concerns the measurement and cognitive correlates of conspiracist ideation, and reasoning biases more generally. Rob is Assistant Editor of The Skeptic (www.skeptic.org.uk), and writes about the psychology of conspiracy theories at www.ConspiracyPsych.com. Or at least that’s what he would like you to believe.