Conspiracy stereotypes: Their sociopsychological antecedents and consequences

Michał Bilewicz , Grzegorz Sędek


"Judeosoc: the Jewish socialists. This is the most dangerous formation of the socialist, our most worst enemy. They are competent and intelligent. Adam Michnik, TVN television, Gazeta Wyborcza daily - this is where they are hidden. They hate me sincerely," said newly elected Polish member of the European Parliament Janusz Korwin-Mikke in an intervew with Newsweek magazine (Krzymowski, 2014). His declaration represents a specific genre of political communication in which specific ethnic minority is presented as omnipotent, powerful, and realizing its hidden agenda. Similiar statements could be heard in other political campaigns in Poland, making conspiracy theories pronounced within public discourse (Bilewicz, Winiewski & Radzik, 2012). In this chapter, we would like to explain this mobilizing role of conspiracy theories in times of political change, focusing mainly on the conspiracy stereotypes of Jews what portray this minority as powerful and engaged in evil plots. At the same time, we propose that conspiracy stereotypes are activated in specific situations, although most of the time they remain dormant. We aim at understanding the popularity of conspiracy stereotypes among different social groups - people who are economically deprived and senior citizens - who tend to be most committed to such theories in times of political mobilization. We propose that conspiracy stereotypes respond to particular needs among such groups - they serve explanatory functions and respond to threatened cognitive motivations.
Author Michał Bilewicz
Michał Bilewicz,,
, Grzegorz Sędek (Wydział Psychologii)
Grzegorz Sędek,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Publication size in sheets0.95
Book Bilewicz Michał, Cichocka Aleksandra, Soral Wiktor (eds.): The psychology of conspiracy: A Festschrift for Mirosław Kofta, 2015, Routledge, Taylor&Francis Group, ISBN 1138815233, [978-1138815230], 203 p.
Languageen angielski
Conspiracy-chapter-Bilewicz-Sedek-TPoC.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Score (nominal)5
Citation count*41 (2020-06-15)
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