In the increasing scholars’ attention to factors associated with conspiracy beliefs, religiosity has been under-investigated, at least in empirical research. This study aims to address the issue by analysing to what extent and in which forms individual religiosity is associated with conspiracy beliefs. Religion and conspiracy theories could show both similarities and dissimilarities. First, as alternative religiosity and conspiracy theories tend to spread knowledge stigmatized by the authorities, we expect that alternative religious beliefs are positively associated with conspiracy beliefs. Second, as religion and conspiracy theories explain events with the agency of invisible forces and detect patterns in nature, also conventional religious beliefs are supposed to be positively associated with conspiracy beliefs. Third, church attendance is hypothesized to discourage conspiracy beliefs, as exposure to religious authorities could deter the adhesion to unofficial narratives. By employing data coming from the Italian joint edition of the European Values Study–World Values Survey 2018, the paper tests the hypotheses by analysing the association between the multiple dimensions of individual religiosity and belief in a conspiracy theory on pharmaceutical companies. Results show that, after controlling for confidence in political and religious institutions and attitudes towards science, only alternative religious beliefs, here measured by belief in the reincarnation, are positively associated with belief in the big pharma conspiracy theory. Empirical evidence suggests taking caution when looking at similarities between conventional religiosity and conspiracy beliefs.

Religious and conspiracist? An analysis of the relationship between the dimensions of individual religiosity and belief in a big pharma conspiracy theory / R. Ladini. - In: RIVISTA ITALIANA DI SCIENZA POLITICA. - ISSN 0048-8402. - 52:(2022), pp. 33-50. [10.1017/ipo.2021.15]

Religious and conspiracist? An analysis of the relationship between the dimensions of individual religiosity and belief in a big pharma conspiracy theory

R. Ladini
2022

Abstract

In the increasing scholars’ attention to factors associated with conspiracy beliefs, religiosity has been under-investigated, at least in empirical research. This study aims to address the issue by analysing to what extent and in which forms individual religiosity is associated with conspiracy beliefs. Religion and conspiracy theories could show both similarities and dissimilarities. First, as alternative religiosity and conspiracy theories tend to spread knowledge stigmatized by the authorities, we expect that alternative religious beliefs are positively associated with conspiracy beliefs. Second, as religion and conspiracy theories explain events with the agency of invisible forces and detect patterns in nature, also conventional religious beliefs are supposed to be positively associated with conspiracy beliefs. Third, church attendance is hypothesized to discourage conspiracy beliefs, as exposure to religious authorities could deter the adhesion to unofficial narratives. By employing data coming from the Italian joint edition of the European Values Study–World Values Survey 2018, the paper tests the hypotheses by analysing the association between the multiple dimensions of individual religiosity and belief in a conspiracy theory on pharmaceutical companies. Results show that, after controlling for confidence in political and religious institutions and attitudes towards science, only alternative religious beliefs, here measured by belief in the reincarnation, are positively associated with belief in the big pharma conspiracy theory. Empirical evidence suggests taking caution when looking at similarities between conventional religiosity and conspiracy beliefs.
religiosity; conspiracy beliefs; big pharma; Italy; European Values Study; World Values Survey
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/843881
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