Conspiracy Beliefs of Future Teachers

Abstract

The present study was focused on examination of conspiracy beliefs in a specific sample of future teachers. The main aims of the study were to explore whether and to what extent endorse future teachers to conspiracy beliefs, and whether cognitive abilities are related to future teachers’ conspiracy beliefs. In two studies 394 future teachers completed Generic Conspiracist Belief Scale, Conspiracy Mentality Questionnaire, Vienna Matrix Test, Rational-Experiential Inventory, Cognitive reflection test, Slovak Conspiracy Belief Scale. Future teachers had mid-point agreements with conspiracy theories (most often: government conspiracy beliefs, information control beliefs and unnecessary prescription of antibiotics beliefs). Students with low conspiracy beliefs were significantly higher in rational thinking style than those high in conspiracy beliefs, and students reading and watching legitimate media believed significantly more in conspiracy theories than those reading and watching tabloids. Benefits of critical thinking courses as a way of reducing conspiracy beliefs are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

The study was funded by the VEGA Slovak Research Agency and is part of research project 2/0064/13 “Decision making of experts: Use of intuition by experts for solving strategic tasks” awarded to Vladimíra Čavojová. The author would like to thank Vladimíra Čavojová and Róbert Hanák for their productive discussions and helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Eva Ballová Mikušková.

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Funding

This study was funded by the VEGA Slovak Research Agency and is part of research project 2/0064/13 “Decision making of experts: Use of intuition by experts for solving strategic tasks” awarded to Vladimíra Čavojová.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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Ballová Mikušková, E. Conspiracy Beliefs of Future Teachers. Curr Psychol 37, 692–701 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-017-9561-4

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Keywords

  • Conspiracy beliefs
  • Conspiracy mentality
  • Cognitive ability
  • Thinking style