Welcome to the York Skeptics homepage. We are a group dedicated to the promotion of science, rationalism and critical thinking in North Yorkshire. Every month we meet up for a friendly discussion and a talk from a speaker about a subject relating to science and critical thinking. Meetings take place every fourth Monday of the month at 7:30pm in The Phoenix Inn.

We now have a blog, which you can find at yorkskeptics.blogspot.co.uk.

Dr Daniel Jolley

Thursday, September 28 2017 at 7:30PM

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75 George Street,

Dr Daniel Jolley

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Conspiracy theories are associated with almost every significant social and political event, such as the suggested theory that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, that the U.K Government murdered Diana, Princess of Wales, or that the pharmaceutical industry deliberately conceals the harmful side-effects of vaccines to ensure that they are able to make a profit.

Beliefs in these type of conspiracy theories are blooming in the 21st century; millions of people subscribe to them. A basic understanding of logic, rationality, and probability tell us, however, that most of these conspiracy claims are probably false. So why then do so many people believe them? What makes them so attractive and compelling to certain people? And, anyway, what’s the problem, aren’t they just harmless fun?
Until recently, psychologists have not explored these questions in great depth but today the psychology of conspiracy theories is flourishing. In this talk, Daniel will provide a brief overview of what we have learned so far about why people subscribe to conspiracy theories, before uncovering some of the potentially damaging consequences of conspiracy theories; maybe they are not just harmless after all.
Dr Daniel Jolley is a Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University.  He is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, where he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Social Psychology Section and a Committee Member of the Research Board.
Daniel’s main area of research is the psychology of conspiracy theories. He is particularly interested in using experimental methods to examine the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories and has co-authored articles in outlets such as PLoSONE, the British Journal of Psychology and Political Psychology.
Daniel blogs at conspiracypsychology.com and tweets @DrDanielJolley