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Conspiracy Theory Endorsement by Media Viewership

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  • Conspiracy Theory Endorsement by Media Viewership

    Conspiracy Theory Endorsement by Media Viewership

    Sixth report in the Paranormal & Conspiratorial Ideation Study (PCIS)

    Cable news media in the United States has been playing to partisan audiences since at least the 1990s (Hollander, 2008). If conspiratorial thinking is sometimes partisan — as it seems to be given our prior reports on this topic — it is worth investigating whether cable news media viewership is itself associated with conspiracy belief. To do so, we divided our sample into those who reported watching CNN only (a politically left-skewed cable news channel) and those who reported watching Fox News only (a politically right-skewed cable news channel) and then asked the question: “Does cable news viewership impact conspiracy belief?”

  • #2
    Take-Home Message
    • CNN and Fox News viewers are not, in general, very conspiratorial.
    • Fox News viewers were, however, the only group to report agreement, on average, with two of our conspiracies (a COVID-19 conspiracy and a 2020 election conspiracy).
    • CNN viewers were more likely to believe conspiracies about race and gender groups; Fox News viewers were more likely to believe in COVID and Deep State conspiracies.
    Share your interpretation with us ([email protected]) and it may be included in Skeptic Magazine.
    No surprise.

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