Common or defining traits of a conspiracy theory or theorist.

What is a conspiracy theory and what are traits of conspiracy theorists?

Research has been done on this to come up with a set of uniting commonalities that defines a conspiracy theory or theorist.

I wonder if anyone cares to expand or define or discuss this here?

I also wonder if a person can agree in the definition and then fail to see her/himself in it with their own theory being somehow exempt? No true Scotsman.

Connotations of belief in a god here too, given the many gods/faiths.


Staff member
I take conspiracy to include some, or all of the following :

An idea not commonly accepted by the majority, this might seem like an ad-pop but it actually isn't (will elaborate if it becomes a problem)
A paranoid element
A belief that "the truth" is being concealed on a grand scale
An "us/them" mentality
A desire to feel as if one is "tuned in" to some aspect of reality that the overwhelming majority are not privy to
A desire to "expose"
And so on.

Many popular conspiracy theories are really interesting to dig into, see Roswell/9.11/Aushwitz (there can be legal ramifications on the last one)

Any favourites spring to mind? I remember you saying conspiracies are a topic you enjoy discussing.
It is probably ironic that when you say, 'obviously fake conspiracies', as those who are not a part of that particular conspiracy would tend to call all others fake (or they would be on the inside). I sense you are differentiating fake from obviously fake or different to the norm. Flat earth and creationism are considered obviously fake to many, but they are amongst the bread and butter of conspiracies and some verey knowledgable and well known phycisists engage in debatev with them, giving oxygen and a stage. And a conspiracy remains one until shown otherwise.

I was initially just wondering if a common definition or ground of agreement could be established by all from which to discuss matters pertaining to this, based on any particular group or member of something (that others call a conspiracy) usually exempting it/her/himself from being a conspirator. I like SDs list, which seem to be the basis of research based lists uniting similarities, like traits for Autism for example.