Does Self-Love or Self-Hate Predict Conspiracy Beliefs? Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and the Endorsement of Conspiracy Theories
Aleksandra Cichocka , Marta Marchlewska , Agnieszka Golec
AbstractAcross three studies, we examined the role of self-evaluation in predicting conspiracy beliefs. Previous research linked the endorsement of conspiracy theories to low self-esteem. We propose that conspiracy theories should rather be appealing to individuals with exaggerated feelings of self-love, such as narcissists, due to their paranoid tendencies. In Study 1, general conspiracist beliefs were predicted by high individual narcissism but low self-esteem. Study 2 demonstrated that these effects were differentially mediated by paranoid thoughts, and independent of the effects of collective narcissism. Individual narcissism predicted generalized conspiracist beliefs, regardless of the conspiracy theories implicating in-group or out-group members, while collective narcissism predicted belief in out-group but not in-group conspiracies. Study 3 replicated the effects of individual narcissism and self-esteem on the endorsement of various specific conspiracy theories and demonstrated that the negative effect of self-esteem was largely accounted for by the general negativity toward humans associated with low self-esteem.
|Journal series||Social Psychological and Personality Science, ISSN 1948-5506, (A 35 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.5|
|Keywords in English||conspiracy theories, self-esteem, narcissism, collective narcissism, paranoia|
|Publication indicators||: 2016 = 1.073; : 2016 = 1.883 (2) - 2016=2.718 (5)|
|Citation count*||87 (2020-09-24)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.