University of Bristol psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and his colleagues have recently published an interesting article in the journal PLOS ONE, entitled The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science. The main findings of the research are that conspiracist ideation (i.e the tenancy to see conspiracies behind every corner) is a major predictor of anti-vacine views, and a minor predictor of climate change denial and opposition of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
It seems that those who reject one aspect of science are more likely to reject other forms of science and that those who fall prey to various conspiracy theories are also more likely to reject the scientific consensus. Lewandowsky’s article provides, at least in the American context, some explanation of this. I would be interested to see this study repeated in the UK to see if there are any differences.
The full data set for the study is available, so, time permitting, I will try to explore some of the findings in more detail.