Structural antecedents of conspiracy beliefs: how precarity, inequality and low institutional trust contribute to the endorsement of conspiracy beliefs

VEGA 2/0035/24

Project duration:

Principal investigator:
Magdalena Adamus
List of co-investigators:
Eva Ballová Mikušková
Matúš Grežo
Peter Teličák
Viktória Sunyík
Patrik Havan
Radoslav Merva
Juliana Bujňáková


Recent years were marked by a surge of conspiracy theories and beliefs (CT and CB) explaining disturbing events as plots of powerful and malevolent groups. Using existential threat model and socio-functional approach, the project aims to identify structural factors (precarity, inequality, trust, anomie) enhancing the endorsement of CB, mediators, and maladaptive behavioural consequences. The results will contribute to the knowledge about understudied structural antecedents of CB and could inform future interventions. If CB are associated with structural factors, it opens an entire new space for developing anti-CB interventions tailored to the needs of those who may incur the greatest relative costs of the CB endorsement. Besides debunking specific CT or strengthening cognitive abilities, new interventions could target the roots of the CB endorsement and build resilience through alleviating experience of existential threats and improving living conditions.

Keywords:conspiracy beliefs; precarity; institutional trust; inequality; anomie; socio-functional approach