Exploring the Partisan Underpinnings of Conspiracy Theories
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From QAnon to the Anti-Vaxxer movement, conspiracy theories arise and are spread from all parts of the political, ideological spectrum. I hope to find what role political partisanship plays in an individuals’ likelihood to believe these conspiracy theories. The hypothesis for my research is as follows: The political partisanship of an individual is a deciding factor in an individual's propensity to believe a conspiracy theory. To test my hypothesis, participants were surveyed through MTurk and asked to respond to a number of questions regarding fake conspiracy theories shown in the form of tweets. I find that partisanship is a major deciding factor when it comes to conspiracy theories and individuals’ beliefs about them. Specifically, a tweeter or retweeter who is of the ‘in-party' is rated more positively than of one of the ‘out-party’ and the ‘out- party’ only holds importance when showing agreement with ‘in -party’.