Congenial information is often judged to be more valid than uncongenial information. The present research explores a related possibility concerning the process by which people label a claim as fundamentally factual or opinion. Rather than merely being more skeptical of uncongenial claims, uncongenial claims may be metacognitively categorized as more opinion than factual, while congenial claims may be more likely to be categorized as factual. The two studies reported here attempt to trace a preliminary outline of how claims are categorized as fact, opinion, or some mix of the two in the context of mundane claims, contentious political issues, and conspiracy theories. The findings suggest that claims are more likely to be labeled factual to the extent that one subjectively agrees with the content of the claim. Conspiracy theories appear to occupy a middle-ground between fact and opinion. This metacognitive approach may help shed light on popular debate about conspiracy theories, as well as seemingly intractable political disagreements more generally, which may reflect fundamental differences in the perceived epistemic foundations of claims rather than simple disagreement over the facts of the matter. Given limitations of the stimuli and participant samples, however, it remains to be seen how generalizable these findings are.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.644657
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,110
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Conspiracy Theory and the Perils of Pure Particularism.Patrick Stokes - 2018 - In M. R. X. Dentith (ed.), Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. London: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 25-37.
Counterfact Conspiracy Theories.Susan Feldman - 2011 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (1):15-24.
Naar een emancipatie van de complottheorie.Massimiliano Simons - 2017 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 3 (79):473-497.
The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories.Matthew Dentith - 2014 - London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Evaluating Conspiracy Claims as Public Sphere Communication.Eileen Culloty - 2021 - Journal for Cultural Research 25 (1):36-50.
Conspiracy Theories and Conspiracy Theorizing.Steve Clarke - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (2):131-150.
Secrecy and Conspiracy.Matthew R. X. Dentith & Martin Orr - 2017 - Episteme 15 (4):433-450.
Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - 2021 - In Sven Bernecker, Amy Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News. Oxford University Press. pp. 82-105.
Introduction: Conspiracy Theories.David Coady - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):131-134.
Conspiracy Theories and Official Stories.David Coady - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):197-209.
Complots of Mischief.Charles Pigden - 2006 - In David Coady (ed.), Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate. Ashgate. pp. 139-166.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,243,993 of 2,448,098 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #305,048 of 2,448,098 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes