Why We All Love a Good Conspiracy Theory

anxiety fear Oct 19, 2023

Ok, admit it. How often have you fallen down the rabbit hole researching a conspiracy theory?

Are aliens, ghosts, and bigfoot real? Who knows! I think part of the reason that we're interested in conspiracy theories is because, on some level, we all love a good mystery.

As a kid, I was obsessed with the Bermuda Triangle. Even today, I'm still interested in solving that mystery and will watch almost any documentary about it. 

So, why are we such suckers for a good conspiracy theory?

I recently read an article about the psychological reasons behind the belief in conspiracy theories. According to the article, there are 4 main psychological reasons for believing in conspiracy theories. 

  1. Lack of information
  2. Anxiety
  3. Following an in-group
  4. Ego

Let's examine each of these in detail.

For me, it's curiosity that drives me to dig deep into a mystery. I want to know all the answers! However, for others, fear can be the motivating factor to examine the details of a conspiracy theory. If you're afraid of something, then your survival brain wants to know everything it can in order to be prepared. 

Sadly, if fear is your motivator, then learning about all the potential worst-case scenarios is only going to increase your anxiety. Then, the fear and anxiety flow together and create a feedback loop that you experience over and over as your survival brain worries over each little detail of a potential outcome. Suddenly, nothing feels safe.

Your subconscious (or emotional brain), wants to be loved, appreciated, and fit in with your chosen group or family. So, if your family, friends, or mentors believe a certain way, then there's a piece of you that wants to follow along. When it comes to conspiracy theories, there's a fear that other people know something that you don't. In other words, a massive case of FOMO (fear of missing out) is going on in your subconscious. After all, if other people believe it, then it must be true, right? 

The final reason that we're psychologically drawn to conspiracy theories is ego. In my opinion, ego and FOMO go hand in hand. Your ego is going to tell you that when you believe a certain way, you're special. Clearly the other people who can't see what you believe are just sheep. They're not on your level. They're blind to the truth. Bad things are likely to happen to them but not to you because you're prepared. 

That sounds awful ugly, doesn't it?  Remember, your ego is not your amigo!

Widespread belief in conspiracy theories has also been linked to increases in aggression, racism, isolation or exclusion of yourself or others, and increased levels of anxiety and unhappiness. Of course, it depends on the theory and the psychological predisposition of the individual as to whether they begin to display harmful behavior. 

If researching conspiracy theories fills you with fear, then it's often a sign that you're being triggered at a deep level and feel unsafe. The good news is that finding the trigger is relatively easy with the subconscious reprogramming technique that I do with my clients.   

If you'd like to make an appointment to release your fear, build your confidence, and increase your self-esteem, then you can book a session with me HERE. 


April Darley is a Confidence and Resilience Coach specializing in helping overwhelmed women release anxiety and doubt so they can become more confident, decisive, and have better quality relationships with others. Through the Three Brain Realignment Technique (TBRT), you'll learn how to step into your own power, and comfortably deal with life's challenges. 

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