Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2024

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


How strongly does education impact one's perception and opinion of conspiracy theories and voting? Throughout the years, conspiracy theories have been a rising trend in recent years that many people find entertaining, but many believe to be actual facts. The impact of one's education level can substantially change a person's beliefs in conspiracy theories and overall trust in the government. This trend has been shown by analyzing media consumption, education status, and the American National Election survey. This research will compare the trends between education level and conspiracy theory beliefs and how both affect a person's voting behavior. This research will use statistical data found in the Chapman Survey of American Fears to explore further why and how a person's level of education can impact their opinions and beliefs in relation to conspiracy theories and the government, which, in turn, affects a person's voting behavior. Media, news consumption, education, and personal research can all heavily affect an individual's opinions regarding government and conspiracy. Emotional, cognitive, and social outcomes seem to play a prominent role in this paper's hypothesis on why the lower an individual's education is and the more significant media consumption they have, the less likely they are to trust the government and the more likely they are to believe in conspiracy theories.


Presented at the Spring 2024 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.