People with a conspiracy mentality show less of a bias in favor of historical experts, study finds

first_imgShare on Twitter “Having the public debate about ‘alternative facts’ from after Trump’s inauguration still in the back of our minds, we wondered: how do we even know what we know, how do we know who to trust when it comes to events we all have not experienced in first person?”“While previous research had insisted that this is predominantly a question of trusting ingroup sources (i.e., my government, my national education institutions), we had a lingering suspicion that people who endorse conspiracy theories might have a different system of epistemic trust: not trusting those who are in power (and allegedly corrupt).”For their research, Imhoff and his colleagues first surveyed 275 participants before conducting three experimental studies, which included a total of 884 participants from the United States and Germany.Across all four studies, the researchers found that a conspiracy mentality was associated with reduced trust in authoritative and expert sources. However, conspiracy mentality was not associated with greater trust in unofficial, lay sources.In other words, people who agreed with statement such as “Secret organizations can manipulate people psychologically so that they do not notice how their life is being controlled by others” and “Politicians and other leaders are nothing but the string puppets of powers operating in the background” were more likely to view an amateur historian and a professional historian as about equally credible. People low in conspiracy mentality, on the other hand, attributed much more credibility to the professional historian.“I think our most important, not entirely predicted finding is that whereas average people and those who do not endorse conspiracy theories agree more with any historical account if it comes from a powerful source, people who believe in conspiracies do not show such a bias,” Imhoff told PsyPost.“Our prediction was that they have an opposite bias, but the data consistently suggests they just ignore source characteristics. To them a web blog is as trustworthy as an Oxford scholar. As we have formulated, they have terminated the social contract of epistemic trust, that we should believe official sources more than unofficial ones.”The study — like all research — includes some limitations. “We have looked at pre-existing individual differences in the extent to which people endorsed a conspiracy worldview, we can thus not make any claims about causal directions,” Imhoff said. “Also, we have focused on the history of WW1 and WW2 in Germany and the U.S., a relatively limited context.”Those with conspiratorial mindset may be relatively unbiased in the sources they trust but that’s probably not a good thing.“People look at me puzzled when I tell them that conspiracy believers are less biased, so to speak, than non-believers. To clarify, although I stand by that statement, I think we need some kind of ‘bias’ to make sense of the world and form the social glue we need as a society,” Imhoff explained.“Naturally, we cannot experience everything personally and neither can we fully comprehend all scientific discoveries,” he added. “We just have to trust and sometimes cues like a university affiliation or a quality media outlet can be valid. This does not liberate us from critically engaging with the soundness of the argument and the transparency of presentation of evidence, but I am convinced that there is validity in these cues, otherwise I would not be a researcher but could just write a blog.”The study, “Using Power as a Negative Cue: How Conspiracy Mentality Affects Epistemic Trust in Sources of Historical Knowledge“, was authored by Roland Imhoff, Pia Lamberty, and Olivier Klein. Email Pinterest Share on Facebookcenter_img Share Is a book by a professional historian more trustworthy than a YouTube video created by an anonymous person? If you’re high in the personality trait known as conspiracy mentality, you might not see much of a difference. New research suggests that people with a conspiratorial mindset tend to view experts and non-experts as equally credible sources of historical information. The study was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.“The very idea for the study was born in a joint discussion with my co-author Olivier Klein at a conference of social psychological representations of history. We were listening to talks about all kinds of construals, biases and narratives about what happened in the ancient or not so ancient past,” said study author Roland Imhoff of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. LinkedInlast_img read more

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Ebola response faces ‘grave obstacles’ as count hits 150

first_imgPeter Salama, MD, director-general of emergency preparedness with the World Health Organization (WHO) said today at a press conference that the 2-month-long Ebola response in the eastern reaches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is at a “critical juncture.”As of yesterday, the ministry of health in the DRC reported 150 confirmed and suspected cases of the hemorrhagic fever, with 9 cases under investigation. The death toll stands at 100, and there is a new case in Tchomia, the small town near Lake Albert and the Ugandan border. That patient was identified as the partner of the case-patient first diagnosed in Tchomia last week.Tchomia is near the DRC’s border with Uganda.According to the WHO, 39 patients during this outbreak have been treated with experimental Ebola therapies, including mAb 114, remdesivir, and Zmapp. Of these 39 patients, 12 have died.The DRC said that since immunization campaigns began on Aug 8, 11,563 people have been vaccinated, including 4,065 in Mabalako, 3,652 in Beni, 1,632 in Mandima, 884 in Butembo, 683 in Katwa, 270 in Masereka, 164 in Komanda, 121 in Oicha, 65 in Kinshasa, and 27 in Tchomia.Attacks threaten response”Overall the trends in recent weeks have been positive,” said Salama, explaining that 5 weeks ago, officials were reporting 40 cases of suspected Ebola per week, and now they are seeing 10 per week. “But that overall trend overlies a series of grave obstacles the response is now facing.”Salama said that although the DRC response has been excellent, there are three major, interconnected challenges to the response effort: security, level of community resistance and mistrust, and spread to rural areas and the area around the Uganda border.”We’re seeing increased frequency and severity of attacks by armed opposition in recent weeks,” Salama said. The latest and most deadly attack took place on Sep 22 in Beni, the site of the WHO’s base of operations. That attack, carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), resulted in at least 21 deaths, including 17 civilians.Because of the attack, Beni is undergoing community mourning until Friday, effectively halting the WHO’s tracking of suspected cases. Salama said there were at least three newly suspected cases in Beni that couldn’t be investigated until the mourning period ended.Over the weekend, the health minister of the DRC, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, MD, issued a statement to citizens of Beni, assuring them that response infrastructure was still in place in the aftermath of the attack.”Do not let these tragic incidents divide us,” Kalenga said in a letter. “Let us stand united, and united because, beyond the medical response, the only way to end the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic remains the mobilization and commitment of the community alongside the health authorities.”Rebels fuel community mistrustThough most communities have accepted Ebola response efforts, as evidenced by nearly 100% vaccination coverage of case contacts, there are pockets of community reluctance and refusal that have allowed certain transmission chains to continue, Salama said.”This is the most difficult outbreak we have ever faced, and we are now extremely concerned that several factors could create a perfect storm for further transmission,” Salama said.The ADF is just one of several armed groups that have taken to social media to sow seeds of government distrust, blaming health officials for Ebola. But despite the dangerous situation, Salama said the WHO has no current plans to pull out of the region.See also:Sep 25 WHO media briefingSep 24 DRC updateSep 22 Kalenga letterlast_img read more

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Visteon Appoints Asaf Farashuddin as Vice President, Corporate Strategy

first_imgVAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, MI — Visteon has appointed Asaf Farashuddin as vice president, corporate strategy, effective April 18. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Farashuddin will report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Johnston and, as a member of Visteon’s global leadership team, will be responsible for shaping corporate strategy and promoting the company’s long- term growth. Farashuddin was most recently executive director and global leader of corporate strategy for Cummins Inc., an automotive and industrial supplier in Columbus, IN, Prior to Cummins, he held a number of corporate strategy positions at Lucent Technologies, including director of strategy and business development for Lucent Worldwide Services, in Whippany, NJ; director of corporate strategy for Lucent Inc., in Murray Hill, NJ; and senior manager of mergers and acquisitions for Lucent Asia Pacific in Hong Kong and China. Before joining Lucent he was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. He has also worked for Charles River Associates and Pacific Bell. Farashuddin holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and government and legal studies from Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, ME, and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University, in California. He also received a business fellowship from the University of Chicago. To learn more about Visteon, go to: www.visteon.com . _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.last_img read more

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PetroChina calls for Flow-Cal expertise

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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Conference brings momentum for carbon capture action

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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Rickmers-Linie calls Thessaloniki for special project cargo

first_imgRickmers-Linie arranged for an extra call on its round the world service at the Port of Thessaloniki to load cargo consisting of machinery and equipment, which was eventually discharged at Abu Dhabi.The WWPC is a leading global franchise network for project cargo forwarders and Rickmers-Linie has been a sponsor of the group’s conferences for many years.last_img

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APEC to cooperate with Cuba

first_imgThe new dynamic in relations between the EU and Cuba has allowed APEC and the Cuban National Ports Authority to step up cooperation in the field of port related training, at the request of the Cuban authorities.Since 1977, APEC – which is affiliated with the Antwerp Port Authority – has been playing a key role in the transfer of knowledge from Flanders to the rest of the world, and has brought together 14,000 professionals from 150 countries over the past 37 years.  From left to right: Marc Van Peel, president of the Antwerp Port Authority; Paul Verkoyen, ceo of APEC; and Manuel Fernando Pérez Guerra, general director of the Cuban National Ports Authority.www.portofantwerp.com/apeclast_img

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RTL makes Moscow refinery move

first_imgThe units – which had a combined weight of 785 tonnes – were first transported by road using heavy-duty trucks to a bespoke pier built by RTL on the River Neva.The road transport involved passing over two railway crossings, which required the disconnection of high-voltage transmission lines and alterations to train schedules. RTL was also responsible for strengthening the road surface to guarantee the safety of the consignment.Upon arrival at the pier, the cargoes were loaded onto a heavy-duty barge, before being shipped to Moscow via Russia’s inland waterway network, routing via the River Neva, Ladoga Lake, Volga-Baltic canal, White Lake and Sheksna River, Rybinsk reservoir, Volga River and Moscow canal.The final stage of the project will see the four cargoes moved to their final installation site at the Moscow refinery.Gazprom Neft began the large project to modernise its Moscow refinery in 2011, removing outdated production facilities and introducing modern industrial complexes.Over the past five years, the impact of the plant’s production on the environment has been reduced by 50 percent, said RTL. The modernisation programme is scheduled for completion in 2020.www.rtlltd.com/EN/www.gazprom-neft.comlast_img read more

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New berth opens in Montrose

first_imgForming part of a 20-year masterplan, the infrastructure improvements increase the capacity of the port and increased the maximum potential size of berthing vessels from 12,000 to 18,000 gross tonnage.Construction of the common user berth was carried out by civil engineering contractor Farrans and includes a large laydown area and an additional heavy lift pad.Montrose Port Authroity ceo Tom Hutchison said: “These continue to be exciting times for Montrose Port; the completion of this latest redevelopment phase simply builds upon our reputation as a key hub for both the offshore energy and general cargo market. “The additional berth capacity enables us to strengthen and enhance our existing capabilities and further expand the size and type of vessel we can welcome to the port, which is particularly pertinent as we continue to attract a diverse range of clients.” www.montroseport.co.uklast_img read more

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PI giant’s share price plunges amid grim financial outlook

first_imgShares in marketing collective National Accident Helpline plunged this morning after a gloomy trading update from the company.NAHL announced to the London Stock Exchange that underlying earnings for 2019 are likely to be between 7.5% and 10% lower than board expectations. This echoed a similarly downbeat assessment from late December, when the company announced the closure of a joint venture amid below-expectation financial results.Today’s update had an immediate effect on the share price, which fell more than 40% to 57.2p by mid-morning. As recently as mid-December, NAHL shares were trading at 121.5p.The company had already noted that 2019 had been a ‘challenging year’, with the property market contracting and the group’s residential property division making a small loss.Despite performing marginally ahead of expectations, NAHL today said its personal injury division also faced competitive pressure and what it termed ‘continued panel volatility’ during the last year. This has resulted in a higher cost of generating new claims which has led to fewer claims being passed through to the group’s ABS structures.NAHL said ‘considerable uncertainty’ remains in the personal injury sector ahead of potential reforms planned for low-value RTA claims from April 2020 (a start date which remains up in the air).The statement said the board was encouraged by progress in transforming the business, but in order to ‘de-risk’ the group in the light of market circumstances, it has decided to slow the deployment of working capital in the PI business and to suspend the company’s dividend. Consequently, the board’s outlook for 2020 performance is significantly lower than previous expectations.last_img read more

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