Conspiracy theories are not theories


This paper presents the results of two corpus studies investigating the discourse surrounding conspiracy theories and conventional theories. The first study demonstrates that conspiracy theories lack the epistemic and scientific standing characteristic of theories. The second study provides evidence that conspiracy theories are frequently spread in a manner that resembles the dissemination of falsehoods and misinformation. These findings indicate that conspiracy theories do not possess the characteristics typically associated with genuine theories.

Author Profiles

Kevin Reuter
University of Zürich
Lucien Baumgartner
University of Zürich


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