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Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them$
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Joseph E. Uscinski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190844073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190844073.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 April 2021

The Collective Conspiracy Mentality in Poland

The Collective Conspiracy Mentality in Poland

(p.372) 25 The Collective Conspiracy Mentality in Poland
Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them

Wiktor Soral

Aleksandra Cichocka

Michał Bilewicz

Marta Marchlewska

Oxford University Press

In recent decades several conspiracy theories became prominent topics of Polish public debate: the Smoleńsk catastrophe, “gender conspiracy” and “Jewish conspiracy” are some examples of such theories. These conspiracy theories can be viewed as manifestations of a collective conspiracy mentality, a collective mental state in which other groups, nations, or institutions are viewed as ill-intended and willing to conspire against the in-group. This state is instigated by salient historical representations of one’s own group (e.g., nation), viewing the in-group as a victim of others. It is boosted by a special kind of defensive in-group identity—collective narcissism. Finally, it bears negative consequences for inter-group relations.

Keywords:   conspiracy theory, conspiracy mentality, collective threat, in-group victimization, collective narcissism, Jewish conspiracy theory, gender conspiracy

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