Student Author(s)

Mark Fields, Hope College

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Rachel Spooner, Political Science

Document Type


Event Date



Conspiracy theories are a popular phenomenon because they affect core beliefs and, accordingly, their actions. As prevalent as conspiracy theories are, we do not know why some people believe them and others do not, nor do we know why some conspiracy theories are more 'infectious' than others. I theorize that there is a positive correlation between belief in organized religion and belief in conspiracy theories because both religion and conspiracy theories are based on faith rather than empirical knowledge. Conspiracy theories vary in their characteristics, and therefore the variation between conspiracy theories might have an effect on the amount of believability among religious people. Because of this variation of believability, I compared four types of conspiracies; the hegemonic, intuitive, elite-driven, and aberrant conspiracy theories (as defined by Scott Radnitz), to determine if one kind of conspiracy theory is more popular among religious people than the other. I anticipate that narrative-fitting conspiracy theories will be more believed by people who subscribe to organized religion because organized religion is often built on strong, cohesive narratives.


Title on poster differs from abstract booklet. Poster title: Conspiracy Theories and Religious Belief