In America, 65 million people believe that a UFO crashed at Roswell – and another 21 million people believe that the moon landings were faked.
Conspiracy theories became big news last year as ‘fake news’ sites spread misinformation during the election – including conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton.
Researchers at VU Amsterdam conducted large surveys to work out why some people believe in conspiracy theories – and others don’t.
Researcher Jan-Willem Van Prooijen conducted two large surveys – and found that people with a higher level of education were less likely to believe in conspiracy theories, in part because they felt ‘more in control’.
People with lower levels of education were also more likely to believe in simple solutions to complex problems.
"By teaching children analytic thinking skills along with the insight that societal problems often have no simple solutions, by stimulating a sense of control, and by promoting a sense that one is a valued member of society, education is likely to install the mental tools that are needed to approach far-fetched conspiracy theories with a healthy dose of skepticism," Van Prooijen said.