The conspiratorial style in lay economic thinking

David Leiser, Nofar Duani, Pascal Wagner-Egger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates patterns of lay perception of economics, and in particular the place of conspiratorial thinking regarding the economic domain. We devised four types of accounts in the economic domain, over a range of questions regarding different aspects of the economy: the classical neo-liberal economic view (which we labeled Econ101), and the Conspiracy view (the destructive outcomes of economy are due to small and powerful groups who are manipulating the markets), to which we added the Government malfunction view (failures in the economy are due to the authorities), and the Bad Invisible Hand view (the invisible hand may go wrong, and the equilibrium reached by its doings may be undesirable). The last two views are the ones most strongly endorsed by our respondents, in the US, Israel and Switzerland. The pattern of inter-correlations between the four accounts, and that between each and the psycho-social variables we examined, exhibits two clusters, Econ101 vs. the other three views of economy. This corresponds to a general opposition between people who trust the neoliberal economic system, and those opposed to it. What sets economic conspiratorial thinking apart are its links with other conspirational beliefs and with paranormal beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0171238
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • General

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