Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions


Some civilians in the U.S. consider the conspiracy theory as true. However, the majority of society sees conspiracy theories as approaches that have no grounds and are unverifiable. Different researchers have developed an understanding regarding the theory, establishing a comprehensive view of the areas with which the public agrees, and in contrast, those with which they differ while reading a topic. Bolton’s “The conspiracy theory as a personality disorder” (2015) and Alex Seitz-Wald’s “Why people believe in conspiracy theories” (2013) are the two main articles that present the utmost similarities regarding conspiracy theories. Regardless of these two authors writing during different years, their perspectives about the conspiracy theories remain similar. Therefore, both Seitz-Wald and Kerry Bolton’s works mention that conspiracy theories embrace monological thinking, develop a sense of control, are affiliated with political dissents, involve intelligent individuals, satisfy a specific need, and are immune to evidence.

Sense of Control

Conspiracy theory makes people develop a sense of control in society. Kerry R. Bolton in his article Conspiracy theory as a personality disorder” presents the argument that conspiracy is a method of social control. The act embraced by the leaders who use false statements to deviate from the ill perceptions of the followers (Bolton 1). The articles denote back to the 1940s’ president Franklin Roosevelt. The president was exemplifying fascism, and when he noticed that people were getting angry on his leadership styles, he called the dissidents to be part of his regime. Roosevelt knew that the opposition could not join his ill motives. He often claimed that the fascists are fighting and disrupting his programs, a scenario which he affiliated to necessitate ineffective government delivery. Seitz-Wald elucidates that people believe in a conspiracy as a way of developing a sense of control over them (Seitz-Wald 3). Adopting it helps persons to have critical control over society, considering that they can dictate the views of people towards a given issue. Therefore, both authors agree on the point that conspiracy manifests among people to have social control over others.

Immune to Evidence

Additionally, the conspiracy theory is characteristically immune to different shreds of evidence. According to Bolton’s article, the conspiracy theory does not provide research from any secondary or primary data collection methods, including interviews and observation. Conspiracists make decisions based on their perspectives, arguing what they know to be right or wrong without a foundation of facts (Bolton 1). The evidences that the individuals have towards a particular phenomenon in society are unauthentic and unverifiable. On the same note, Seitz-Wald mentions that conspiracists believe in mutually supportive beliefs (1). Conspiracists misleads the audience to fulfil their common interests. In other words, the conspiracy theory presents and supports the principle that it incorporates people who hide the truth for self-benefits. Psychologically, the conspiracists understand that what they are protecting or believing in does not have adequate grounds to support their claims. Being together, listening to one another, and arguing from the same perspective persuades the individuals that what they are proving is true. Connectedly, it is worth noting that in both articles, the authors stand at the same point, opining that conspiracy theories are grounded on beliefs and not on verifiable evidence.

Depends on Big Incident to Develop

Moreover, both articles hold the idea that whatever that trends in society must have a conspiracy theory. Seitz-Wald alludes that every enormous occurrence in society must have its unique conspiracy (3). There is a critical conspiracy that surrounds the former president Barack Obama. Some people created the argument that Obama was never born in the U.S. Statistically, half of the segment believes that he was born outside the U.S. despite himself stating that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii (Seitz-Wald 3). The conspiracy framework is clearly near the truth, hence, it misleads most people who affiliate to the false arguments easily. The truth about Obama is that he was born within the U.S. borders, and it is only that his father was not born in the U.S. but in Kenya. Comparably, Bolton depicts that in the field of social science, scientists are disregarding the dissident opinions, manipulating the result to fit their selfish interests (4). Arguably, social science is one of the uttermost topics in the present society, hence it faces great conspiracy. Therefore, it is prudent noting that whatever that trends in society, the conspiracy theories follow them.

Satisfies Specific Needs

Significantly, both authors opine that conspiracy serves and satisfies a specific need. As mentioned above, Seitz-Wald in his article creates an understanding regarding the conspiracy surrounding the former president Barack Obama (3). The conspiracy theory about him aimed at tainting his name among the Americans by his opposers and competitors so that he does not win the presidential election. The conspiracy aimed at imparting the American civilians with the mentality that if they vote for Obama, it is equal to voting for a foreigner who does not comprehend the issues facing the U.S. and its people. Notably, it is Obama’s dissents who were conspiring against him. In the same way, Bolton illustrates that the death of Osama bin Laden is associated with a lot of conspiracy (4). The assertion that Osama is still alive aims at meeting the need of threatening the U.S. that Al-Qaida is still intact and strong, despite the likeminded people knowing that the militia is weak. According to the article, Osama was killed by the U.S. militants in 2011 (Bolton 2). Thus, conspiracy theories have a specific purpose and need that they aim to attain.

Involves Brilliant and Intelligent Minds

Furthermore, the articles present the same analogy that conspiracists incorporate individuals that are intelligent and bright. In this article, Seitz-Wald alludes that individuals who subscribe to the conspiracy theories are often smart (2). The article bases the argument on the fact that the individuals have excellent abilities to explain to the larger audience and subsequently make the specific audience believe in the wrong information (Seitz-Wald 2). The issue of the convincing people that already know the truth forms the basis to show that the conspiracists are bright and smart. It requires epitome levels of brilliance to convince and move people from the truth to the falsehood path. Similarly, Bolton elucidates the understanding that the conspiracy threat involves individuals that are in the technocratic elite model. The conspiracists can be developing and posting misleading media information on the different social media platforms, hence confusing the audience and making them believe in the presented false information. The truth opposers manipulate and wrongly influence the perception of the innocent audience, hence demonstrating why conspiracists are intelligent (Bolton 4). Therefore, the conspiracy theory consists of intelligent pioneers who lure others easily.

Incorporates Unique Culture

Noteworthy, both studies support the argument that the conspiracy theory is cultured. Seitz-Wald’s article develops the argument that people have different perspectives about conspiracy theories, noting that they are often affected by culture (4). People blindly follows the misleading beliefs of the surrounding environment. For instance, the African-Americans in the country have developed a conspiracy theory that AIDS was made by the U.S. government (Seitz-Wald 2). The blacks believe that the disease was meant to kill them and subsequently reduce their number. As a result, the assumptions have increased the ordeals of racism, considering that the majority affiliate to this conspiracy. Bolton’s study exemplifies the analogy that conspiracists are highly cultured individuals. The individuals have a similar culture of denial, whereby they oppose everything, and consequently develop other critical frameworks to counter the original argument (Boston 4). Conspiracists see different topics in society from a different perspective. They have specialized in formulating theoretical information that has no room for practical approval. Hence, the proponents of conspiracy theories are highly cultured.

Depends on Evidence to Expand

Both articles present a critical comprehension that the conspiracy theories continue to expand as authentic evidence is developed. As Alex Seitz-Wald reiterates about consistence expansion in his article, stating that the common trait in the conspiracy theories is the regular expansion which is automated by the new evidence developed in different researches (2). In the climatic scandal, the scientists have continued to be blamed by the conspiracists despite being exonerated (Seitz-Wald 2). Any topic that trends in the public becomes excellent for the conspiracists to develop different misleading assumptions about the topic and the happenings which surround it. Moreover, Bolton in his work depicts that the conspiracy theories rely on the ruthless and monolithic conspiracy that equally depends mainly on the convert means (3). In other words, the conspiracists have specialized in twisting accurate information to be false, subsequently misleading the audience. The number of evidence and proves created equals the actual number of conspiracies that exist. Therefore, it is worth noting that the conspiracy theory follows the discovery trends.

Incorporates Monological type of Reasoning

Notably, in both articles, an understanding is developed that conspiracy theory encompasses a monological type of reasoning. Seitz-Wald’s work presents a vivid view to the audience that the conspiracy theorists often ignore several proves and evidence, and ignorantly decide to focus on a single entity (1). The article creates an argument that the information that the conspiracists depend on is often baseless since they cannot prove it. In other words, the individuals embrace a self-sealing nature of making assumptions. In Bolton’s article, the conspiracy theory involves a self-sustaining worldview that incorporates of a network of the mutually supportive beliefs (3). Individuals have distinct ideas which they believe in, but they cannot provide approval and evidence of how the specific idea can be ensured. The individuals disregard the multiple shreds of evidence which exemplify the true version of the topic. Even the conspiracy theories which are incompatible are tremendously correlated in terms of endorsement. The conspiracists rely on the same issue, which is developing beliefs that are away from the truth. Therefore, conspiracy theories contain monological reasoning ways that often deviate from the truth.

Incorporates Opposition Leaders

The two pieces present the analogy that individuals that are in the political opposition side often embrace the conspiracy theories. Seitz-Wald’s article presents an understanding that individuals that are on the political left often use conspiracy to get more support from the public (2). Despite those on the right equally using conspiracy to attract the public trust and assuring them that the country is stable, the opposition government uses it more to diminish the ruling party (Seitz-Wald 2). Those in the left aim at destroying the reputation of the government by mentioning only the failures as opposed to successes. Equally, author Bolton in his article opines that if the psychiatric wards were to be filled by the political dissidents, it could have been disastrous (4). The opposers use social control techniques to gain trust from the innocent civilians that are unaware of the truth, hence being engulfed by the various conspiracy theories (Bolton 1). Connectedly, it is important mentioning that the opposition leaders often use the conspiracy theory to misguide their followers about the trend of the incumbent government.


In conclusion, it is paramount to note that every happening in the present society has its conspiracy. Bolton and Seitz-Wald’s works advocate for the same ideas regarding the conspiracy models. Conspiracy is related to monological thinking, mostly affiliated with political dissents, immune to evidence, continues to expand as the world makes discoveries, it is cultured, involves intelligent individuals, develops individuals’ needs, and satisfy people’s specific needs. Above all, people should be enthusiastic about verifying different issues before making final assumptions whether to believe in them. It requires individuals to have brilliant brains to convince and subsequently mislead others in society. As a result, one will avoid being ignorant, whereby unknowingly embrace the conspiracy theories.

Works Cited

Bolton, R. Kerry. “Conspiracy Theory as a Personality Disorder?” Foreign Policy Journal, 2015. Web.

Seitz-Wald, Alex. “Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories.” 2013. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


DemoEssays. (2022, December 22). Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions. Retrieved from


DemoEssays. (2022, December 22). Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions.

Work Cited

"Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions." DemoEssays, 22 Dec. 2022,


DemoEssays. (2022) 'Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions'. 22 December.


DemoEssays. 2022. "Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions." December 22, 2022.

1. DemoEssays. "Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions." December 22, 2022.


DemoEssays. "Alex Seitz-Wald vs. Kerry Bolton’s Conspiracy Theory Perceptions." December 22, 2022.