Thursday, September 5, 2013

Kooky Conspiracy Theories

I love conspiracy theories, and I've published research that attempts to explain who are the folks who believe Barack Obama is Muslim (spoiler alert -- conservative Christians).

I thought you'd like this, then, a quick compilation of the percentage of Americans who believe in the kookier theories. These are the percentages of U.S. adults, based on a national survey, who are certain, are definite, in their belief. If we add in the "probably" then the number increases. Those are in parentheses. Yup, I've got the raw data.
  • Feds directed Katrina flooding into poor areas -- 2.5 percent (12.8)
  • Obama born outside the U.S. -- 5.6 percent (16.7).
  • Death panels are in Obamacare -- 8.1 percent (25.9).
  • Feds knew of 9/11 in advance -- 9.5 percent (26.4).
Look at those last entries, that 1-in-4 Americans believe Obamacare includes death panels and the feds knew in advance about 9/11 are either definitely or probably true. Wow.

I expect to do a paper on this in the next few months, one that gets into who believes in this (demographics, political factors, media use, etc.). It's an area so ripe for research, I half wish I didn't have two other things in the queue to finish first.

Note: Corrected the second-to-last graph to reflect it's 9/11 that 1-in-4 believe in, not Katrina.

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