Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-7-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


The study of conspiracy theories has existed for many decades, however, a new species of conspiracy, labeled QAnon, has surfaced in recent years - QAnon theories are directly tied to current radical politics and former President Donald Trump. My research will aim to explain how the outlandish and often racist beliefs of QAnon followers have come to be not only believed but have affected so many people that a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol occurred as a result. My research will include analysis of the Chapman Survey of American Fears which includes people on both sides of the political spectrum in order to correlate belief in QAnon’s allegations with a number of other different radical theories, as well as use existing research on the basis of political conspiracy belief, the factors that affect it, and the effect that belief of corruption in government can have on belief in radical deviant subjects. This will provide context for QAnon belief because QAnon is rooted in the belief that there is widespread government corruption. QAnon is a relatively new species of conspiracy and thus has very little research surrounding it and its causation. My project will serve to show that QAnon is related to a number of factors similar to the basis of belief in most conspiracy theories but the most principle will be strong belief in corruption in government and other theories where distrust in government or government officials is prevalent.


Presented at the virtual Spring 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.