Honors College Theses

Date

2022

Major

Criminal Justice and Criminology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Amanda Graham

Abstract

Over the last decade, conspiracy theorists and larger groups have become much more prominent across the United States, despite conspiracies being present for decades. Previously, they have been dismissed by most, however over the last decade due to an explosive political climate and growing numbers, these groups have begun to act on their beliefs. Events such as the January 6th Insurrection on the United States Capitol building is an unfortunate example as to how far these groups are willing to go. This study’s purpose is to use a nationwide survey to help determine who exactly are these types of individuals who believe and might potentially participate in further criminal activities. The study collected 512 respondents' data over a variety of questions regarding theories and various demographics.

Thesis Summary

This project was designed around the rise of misinformation throughout American and the growth of conspiracy groups that commit crime. The study used a survey to collect data regarding respondents belief or disbelief in conspiracy theories and questions to determine potential underlying psychological influences such as Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy.

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