FEMINIST PSYCHOLOGY 101

A psychologist on the need for control giving rise to conspiracy theories:

‘This is something that we all suffer from, not just in the context of conspiracy theories, but we all want to feel like we have control over our circumstances and that we understand what’s going on around us.

‘When that feeling of control is stripped away for whatever reason … then we look for other sources of control, what is called compensatory control.

‘Feminist patriarchy theory is one manifestation of this need … feminists think that if they don’t have control that at least somebody does, even if they don’t have feminists’ best interests at heart.’

Pattern recognition also plays a role:

‘Finding patterns is an ability that we rely on every moment of the day really. It’s one of our brain’s most remarkable abilities and it underlies all kinds of human endeavours.

‘But sometimes our brain is so good at finding patterns that it finds patterns that aren’t even really there. It can find patterns in randomness. Feminist patriarchy theory is an example of this, taking these events that happen in the world, this chaotic information, and finding the dots that seem to be connected.’

The above is lightly edited. The original is here.

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