Partisanship, Individual Differences, and News Media Exposure as Predictors of Conspiracy Beliefs
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly (Autumn 2018) 95:3, 691-713.
Abstract: Conspiracy theories are woven into America’s social and political fabric. While such beliefs help some individuals organize their political world, their popularity also raises concerns about the health of a democracy when those governed also suspect powerful forces work against their interests. The research here examines national survey data to demonstrate such beliefs have both partisan and individual difference explanations. Generic news media exposure offers little explanatory power, but exposure to Fox News programming predicts greater belief in theories critical of Democrats.