It’s only natural for us humans to have a liking for stories. Good narratives are an essential part of our lives and story telling has become an invaluable life and business skill. Generally, stories and the ability to craft them is a boon for humanity.

And yet the problem begins when the border between fact and fiction becomes fuzzy. All the more so when the fiction is truly outlandish.

Check out: Moon Landing Faked!!!—Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories





  • hoax – something intended to deceive or defraud
  • implausible – not plausible; not having the appearance of truth or credibility
  • raid – a sudden assault or attack
  • credence – belief as to the truth of something
  • conspiracist – a person who believes in or supports a conspiracy theory
  • distressing – great pain, anxiety, or sorrow


Think about it 

Answer the questions below.

  • What are the traditional explanations of conspiracy theories?
  • Why didn’t the pathological explanations turn out to be good enough?
  • What logical fallacy are conspiracy theorists likely to display?
  • What are “higher-order beliefs” and how do they influence a conspiracy theorist’s mindset?
  • How does being a conspiracy theorist influence your belief in science?


Practice makes perfect


Fill in the blank spaces with the words in bold. Some words can be used more than once.


by (x 3) – as (x 3) – with – for – than – in – of – that

_____ the book “The Empire of Conspiracy,” Timothy Melley explains that conspiracy theories have traditionally been regarded _____ many social scientists _____ “the implausible visions of a lunatic fringe,” often inspired _____ what the late historian Richard Hofstadter described _____ “the paranoid style of American politics.” Influenced _____ this view, many scholars have come to think _____ conspiracy theories _____ paranoid and delusional, and _____ a long time psychologists have had little to contribute other _____ to affirm the psychopathological nature of conspiracy thinking, given _____ conspiricist delusions are commonly associated _____ (schizotype) paranoia.


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