Lives of the Unconscious

Lives of the Unconscious

Podcast on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Episode 23: On the Psychoanalysis of Conspiracy Theories

Lives of the Unconscious

Conspiracy phantasma derive their power from affects, not from arguments. They cannot be understood by differentiating them from some supposedly reasonable normality – for normality may not be so reasonable after all – but only in the reflection of their affective cohesiveness.
In fact, they are a social psychological phenomenon of extraordinary proportions: and a case for depth psychology. In this episode we will hear more about the role conspiracy theories can play for the psyche and why they cannot be easily abandoned.

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Literature Recommendations:

  • Adorno, T. W. (1997). The Stars Down to Earth: The Los Angeles Times Astrology Column. Telos, 1974, 19, 13–90
  • Bion, W. (1970). Attention and Interpretation. London: Tavistock Publica-tions.
  • Green, R. & Douglas, K.M. (2018). Anxious attachment and belief in con-spiracy theories. Personality and Individual Differences. Volume 125, 15, 30-37
  • Blum, H. (1981). Object Inconstancy and Paranoid Conspiracy. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 29:789–813
  • Lantian, A. et al. (2017). »I Know Things They Don’t Know!« The Role of Need for Uniqueness in Belief in Conspiracy Theories. Social Psycholo-gy, 48, pp. 160-173. Hogrefe Publishing.
  • Rosenfeld, H. (1971). Contribution to the psychopathology of psychotic states: The importance of projective identification in the ego structure and the object relations of the psychotic patient. In: Doucet, P. & Lau-rin, C. (eds.): Problems of Psychosis. Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica

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