Refusing to Pay Taxes: Loneliness, Conspiracy Theorising and Non-Normative Political Action

Daniel Jolley*, Jenny Paterson, Rebecca Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

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Conspiracy theorising can motivate non-normative intentions (e.g., tax evasion and violence). However, less is known about the contributors of these conspiracy-inspired intentions or if they translate into behaviours. Two studies (N = 1,155) found a positive correlation between loneliness and conspiracy theorising, which in turn related to non-normative intentions. Study 3 (n = 234) provided further evidence of these relationships through serial mediations: participants who remembered a lonely experience (vs. control) reported feeling lonelier, which was positively linked to conspiracy beliefs, and subsequently associated with non-normative intentions and a new behavioural measure (actual tax evasion). While our findings consistently link loneliness to conspiracy theorising and non-normative actions, future research utilising longitudinal designs would bolster confidence in our theoretical framework.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Jun 2023

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