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Moreno Mancosu (CCA)

23 February 2017 @ 14:00


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23 February 2017
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“The nature and diffusion of conspiracy theories in Italy: an exploratory analysis”


Anecdotal evidence suggests that believing in conspiracy theories is widespread in the Italian public opinion, impacting dramatically on a number of aspects of the public debate. So far, little empirical evidence has been collected to assess the spread of beliefs in conspiracy theories and to test similarities and differences with other countries. This paper aims at assessing the quantitative diffusion of conspiracist ideation among the Italians and testing several fundamental hypotheses, collected in other national contexts, regarding the correlation betweenhigh levels of conspiracism and educational attainment, trust, religiosity and political partisanship. The paper employs multivariate regression models applied on the ITANES national sample of 2016. We show that conspiracism correlates negatively with educational level and positively with religiosity, while no correlation between believes in conspiracies and trust in institutions is found. Also, a correlation between being a right-wing/Movimento 5 Stelle supporter and high levels of conspiracist ideation is found.