New survey reveals greater acceptance of conspiracy theory among some groups: NPR

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A person carries a sign supporting QAnon during a protest rally in May 2020 in Olympia, Washington.

Ted S. Warren / AP


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Ted S. Warren / AP


A person carries a sign supporting QAnon during a protest rally in May 2020 in Olympia, Washington.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Religion, education, race and media consumption are powerful predictors of acceptance of conspiracy theory among Americans, according to a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey of 5,149 adults living across the United States, released Thursday, found a strong correlation between consumption of right-wing media sources and acceptance of conspiracy theories such as QAnon.

The survey examines the links between religious beliefs and belief in false conspiracy theories. White Evangelicals and Hispanic Protestants were most responsive to the QAnon theory.

About 1 in 4 people surveyed from these religious groups said they believe “the government, media and financial world in the United States are controlled by a group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation. “, a false QAnon conspiracy theory statement.

That’s significantly higher than the 15% of black Protestants, as well as 15% of Americans overall, who agreed with this statement. At 8%, American Jews were the religious group least likely to say they agreed.

The report also examines media education and consumption. Americans who reported consuming far-right news sources reported the highest rates of acceptance of the conspiracy theory; almost half said they believed in QAnon’s principles. The survey defined media such as Newsmax and One America News Network, or OANN, as “far right.”

People without a college degree who responded to the survey were three times more likely to believe conspiracy theories than Americans who had completed their education.

The results of the PRRI survey largely dovetail with the results of a recent poll by NPR / Ipsos, including a December 2020 survey, which found widespread adoption of ideas related to the QAnon conspiracy theory.



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