The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Dr Karen Douglas
Reader in Psychology
My primary research focus is on beliefs in conspiracy theories. Why are conspiracy theories so popular? Who believes them? Why do people believe them? What are some of the consequences of conspiracy theories and can such theories be harmful?
I am also interested in the social psychology of human communication, including how people manipulate subtle features of their language in order to achieve social goals, how they examine other people's language to learn about them, the psychology of sexist language, and how people formulate and respond to criticism.
Jolley, D., & Douglas, K.M. (2014). The social consequences of conspiracism: Exposure to conspiracy theories decreases the intention to engage in politics and to reduce one’s carbon footprint. British Journal of Psychology, 105, 35-56.
Wood, M., Douglas, K.M., & Sutton, R.M. (2012). Dead and alive: Belief in contradictory conspiracy theories. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 767-773.
Douglas, K.M., & Sutton, R.M. (2011). Does it take one to know one? Endorsement of conspiracy theories is influenced by personal willingness to conspire. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 544-552
Jolley, D., & Douglas, K.M. (in press). The effects of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories on vaccination intentions. PLOS ONE.