A flat Earth map drawn by Orlando Ferguson in 1893. (Wikimedia Commons)
If you are in a round earth, then you must have felt the frustration of arguing with someone from the flat earth. Whatever rebuttal you say is considered part of the NASA conspiracy.
In this 21st century, did he and the other flat folks really seriously believe in the theory? If so, how does this happen?
Although their theory sounds improbable to your ears and head, but flat earthen beliefs are not a surprise for psychologists like Karen Douglas.
Psychologist from the University of Kent, United Kingdom, who studies the psychology of conspiracy theorists, says that the beliefs of flat earth follow other conspiracy theories he has learned.
Quoted from Live Science May 30, 2017, Douglas said, I think these people really believe that the earth is flat. I do not see any sign that they are making up the idea for any other reason.
Douglas goes on to explain that in general, conspiracy theories have two of the same characteristics. First, they are an alternative theory of an event or a serious problem. Second, they usually provide some kind of explanation as to why the truth of the event or problem should be covered.
"One of the attractions of conspiracy theory is the ability to explain a major event without the need for complete details. Its strength lies precisely in the fact that these theories do not have definite clarity, "he said.
However, the tenacity and self-confidence of the earth peoples is flat in arguing to make their theory more interesting than it should be.
"If you are faced with a minority view expressed in an intelligent way and the speaker has a very strong opinion, then the theory can be very influential. Psychologists call this a minority influence, "Douglas said.
However, there is one difference of flat earth people with people who believe in other conspiracy theories.
In a study published in the American Journal of Political Science in 2014, two political researchers from the University of Chicago, Eric Oliver and Tom Wood, found that half of US society believe at least one conspiracy theory.
To Live Science, Oliver said that conspiracy theories originate from the human habit of believing in the invisible power. This is referred to as magical thinking.
However, if many other conspiracy theorists also adopt supernatural peripheral theories, flat earth people usually only believe in the uneven shape of the earth.
"If they are like other conspiracy theorists, they should also show tendencies toward magical thinking such as believing UFOs, ESPs, ghosts, and other invisible forces. However, flat earth people are not so they are also an anomaly among US people who believe in conspiracy theories, "explains Douglas.