Tuesday, March 27, 2012
There has been some debate lately about whether conservatives are more inclined to believe in conspiracy theories than liberals. You can cite examples on both sides, but then you get into questions of deciding exactly how irrational different beliefs are (sometimes there really are conspiracies). So I have sometimes looked for questions about non-political conspiracies. I didn't have much success until a few days ago, when I found a question about the Janet Jackson's performance at Super Bowl 2004: "Based on what you have read or heard, do you think that executives at CBS, the network that aired the Super Bowl, knew in advance that Janet Jackson’s breast would be exposed during the halftime show, or do you think they were unaware that this would happen?" About 19% did, 72% did not, and 8% said they didn't know. There weren't may group differences: education, race, age, gender, and party preference didn't seem to matter. Hispanics were more likely to think they knew (31%). There was no difference between liberals and conservatives, but ideology made a difference: 29% of the people who said they were "very liberal" or "very conservative" thought that they knew, compared to 21% of those who called themselves liberal or conservative and 17% of those who called themselves moderate.