Prevalent Conspiracy Theories Dismissed by Most Americans

Less than half of Americans believe seven overly discussed conspiracy theories are actually true, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,005 American adults, 43 per cent of respondents say that the allegation that the U.S. government has covered up the existence and presence of extraterrestrial life on Earth is “definitely true” or “probably true.”

More than a third of Americans (35%) think the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were not perpetrated solely by al-Qaeda.

Three-in-ten Americans (30%) believe that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to rule the world through an authoritarian world government.

A slightly smaller proportion of respondents (28%) think the notion of “global warming” is an invention that is being maintained for financial or ideological reasons, and that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and, therefore, is ineligible to serve as President.

One-in-five Americans (20%) think it is true that tiny cameras and microphones have been inconspicuously built into TV sets to spy on people, and 12 per cent claim that the Apollo moon landings were “staged” in a studio.

Respondents aged 18-to-34 are more likely to believe in the conspiracies related to extraterrestrial life and a secretive power elite than their older counterparts, while a third of those over the age of 55 (34%) believe the current president is not a natural-born citizen.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From January 15 to January 16, 2013, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,005 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


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