University of Twente Student Theses


Past Regime Type and Current Beliefs in Conspiracy Theories - A Comparative Analysis Across Europe

Ritter, Felix (2022) Past Regime Type and Current Beliefs in Conspiracy Theories - A Comparative Analysis Across Europe.

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Abstract:Beliefs in conspiracy theories can have severe consequences beyond the individual on society. Recent findings show these beliefs are more volatile across time and context than to be purely explained by psychological predispositions. Context effects could influence their diffusion. The aim of this study is to understand the effect of one possible context effect, regime type during socialization. Distinct features of authoritarian regimes, like the absence of a free press, political communication, and lack of participation opportunities could affect individuals’ beliefs in conspiracies. Using the Reconnect 2019 EP Election Panel Survey, I test the effect of exposure to autocracy in different operationalizations with linear regression. The analysis considers the age-period-cohort problem that demands consideration when analyzing socialization effects using survey data. I find no significant relationship of any of the analyzed variables when looking at the whole sample. An effect can be found when looking at Germany and its history before reunification. Concluding, the study could not show a context effect of regime type but highlights the importance of further research into these effects. It also showcases paths for future research for comparable research questions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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