Research Blog #5


My topic is the question of “why the government needs to monitor our social media and how they do so?” The reason I chose to look into this topic was because of the fact that there are many conspiracy theories out in the world about why they do so. Whether its to sell our information to third parties or to keep people from finding out the “truth”, how correct are these theories. Well, the first thing I wanted to dive into was “What is a conspiracy?” and “How reliable is the information of a conspiracy?” The source I chose to answer these questions is from a political psychology book. There is an article in the book that talks about such. Its called “Belief in Conspiracies”and was written by Marina Abalakina-Paap, Walter G. Stephan, Traci Craig, W. Larry Gregory. In the article, they look into beliefs in specific conspiracies and attitudes toward the existence of certain conspiracies. From their research they noticed that high levels of anomie, authoritarianism, and powerlessness, along with a low level of self-esteem, were related to beliefs in specific conspiracies, whereas high levels of external locus of control and hostility, along with a low level of trust, were related to attitudes toward the existence of conspiracies in general. This all correlates to the idea that people who feel the need to dwell into conspiracies tend to feel powerless or at a disadvantage. Their research also showed that conspiracies do not correlate with the idea that people feel the need to make conspiracies to simplify complex events. Through this research, I can somewhat say that conspiracies can never truly believed a hundred percent, but the possibility is definitely there.

  • What is most interesting/surprising to you from this source? The most surprising/interesting thing about this source to me is that it never once says that its proven that conspiracies can’t be true. Ive always thought that a conspiracy was just a speculation of events put into one to put the pieces together for everything to make sense. I was hoping the source would say otherwise, but it did not.
  • Does this source refer to other sources? If so, how and why? If not, why not? (This time, take a look at the “References” or “Works Cited” or “Bibliography” – any leads you can follow here? This source is taken out of a book and I’m pretty sure the authors referred to all the sources in the back of the book. I was unable to find anything cited in the article.
  • What else does it make you want to know? Search for next? What questions does this source raise for you?     Why are people so scared of government interference into our social media lives? Why derive conspiracies from the work of our government trying to keep us safe? What are some red flags on social media that the government uses to their advantage of keeping us safe?

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