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Critical thinking: Conspiracy theories, fake news, hoaxes, urban legends, and moral panics

If you’re teaching critical thinking and looking for timely and engaging material, why not try a conspiracy theory?

Definition

"Conspiracy theory refers to an explanation of past, present, or future events or circumstances that cites as a main causal factor a small group of powerful persons, the conspirators, acting in secret for their own benefit and against the common good."

Uscinski, J. (2018) Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them. Oxford University Press, p. 48

 

A list of conspiracy theories from Wikipedia

 

For the most recent conspiracy theory news: Google News Search for conspiracy theories

 

Looking for conspiracy theories, moral panics, and similar tales in their native habitat? Check YouTube, social media, Reddit/r/conspiracytheories*, or visit one of these websites: NaturalNews, OANN. If you find a rich vein elsewhere, please email me.

 

*r/conspiracy has recently seen an influx of far right-wing enthusiasts and the tone and content have changed.

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