“This was one of those research findings that the press got hold of and framed in an unintended way,” she says. This particular piece of research was led by her PhD student Ricky Green, who was interested in how people’s early childhood experiences with their caregivers, which is always said to affect relationships later in life, might affect their propensity to believe in conspiracy theories. Given the link between insecure attachment styles and maladaptive relationship strategies, she and Green wondered if there was a link between these beliefs and attachment anxiety.
“He found there was. People who are securely attached tend not to believe anywhere near as much as people who are insecurely or anxiously attached.” The underlying reason appears to be that people who are anxiously attached tend to “catastrophize problems more.” In other words, when they look around at what’s happening, they see threats rather than things as they are, in turn making them prone to thinking the worst of every situation. For Douglas and Green this was an exciting finding because it might open the way to get at the underlying mechanism of these beliefs.
I wonder if their research takes into account the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and the rise of fox media (I refuse to put an initial cap on that name). Tobin Smith's “Foxocracy” reviews the indoctrination/brainwashing details of how the network keeps viewers coming back for more.
For me the question of early parental interaction is very interesting. As an identical twin raised by a mom who's approach to child rearing was divide and conquer we could not be more different. I am a loner, she seems to need people around her. I never bought into the religion bs, I quit going to church at 12, she joined the church via whatever the Methodist's do to confirm their believers. She is a gop party stalwart, voted for trump once not sure what she did this time around and gets her news from fox and oann. She thinks Heather Cox Richardson is too left. Finally, she's married and in a stable relationship awhile I'm the one who's been serially monogamous.
At the risk of seeming elitist, IMHO there is an intersection of the rise of Trump and the ‘Dumbing of America’ that Susan Jacoby described in her 2008 book, The Age of American Unreason. At this crossroads of anti-science, anti-reason and anti-intellectualism, we find throngs of exceedingly proud (if not self-righteous) pro-Christian, pro-gun, pro-life, anti-government flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists. Their continued unabashed and braindead support of Trump is matched only by their arrogant certitude, ineptitude and inability to perform a 360 evaluation. Sadly, a good portion of the electorate appears to be afflicted with the Dunning-Kruger effect—they are simply too stupid to realize how stupid they really are—and the soon-to-be former president has been their icon.