Skip to main content

Survey Shows American People Are Super Gullible and Believe Silly Things

I think I've seen this survey before. It's called "Facebook Newsfeed," maybe?


If you’re a rational adult who Googles and debunks every conspiracy theory your weird uncle shares in your Facebook feed (for real, why haven’t you just blocked him yet?), prepare to develop a drinking habit. A recent survey has explored just what kind of dumb conspiracy stuff people believe with some disheartening results.

Two University of Chicago Sheeple, J. Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood, set out to see just who in this country is smart enough to challenge the establishment—haha, just kidding. They set up an online survey to get a nationally representative look at just who believes in several widely-known conspiracies and makes poor medical decisions based on misinformation, and it turns out that a lot of people either do believe them or aren’t sure.

You know what’s even better? The conspiracies were all specifically medical misinformation, and the survey indicated how such misguided thinking can actually be a danger to public health. So, don’t start handing out the Darwin Awards just yet—some of these geniuses might just take you down with them.

The results of their survey appeared in a letter published online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which was probably just some kind of ploy to spread their dangerous “facts” and “helpful information.” As it turned out, fully one in five survey participants responded that, “[Doctors and the government] still want to vaccinate children even though they know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders.”

Thirty-six percent of survey participants weren’t sure whether or not they believed the widely discredited theory, which I’m hoping is just because they’re too busy hiding from government nano-bot snow to worry about it. But, hey, if your kid has recently contracted measles, at least now you know you can just walk down the street and punch every fifth person in the face. That way, your vengeance can be statistically accurate.

There were a few other fun statistics (if “fun” is in big sarcasm quotes), like 40% of people wouldn’t say for sure that the government isn’t deliberately keeping quiet on cell phones causing cancer, or 37% actually responded that the FDA has folded to pressure from drug companies to suppress “natural” cures for cancer.

Then, there’s the fact that 46% of those who responded wouldn’t say for sure that they’re not stark-raving lunatics GMO foods aren’t an attempt by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation to shrink the world’s population. That’s right; nearly half of the population of the United States (statistically speaking) is open to the idea that there’s a giant, “Order 66”-magnitude conspiracy to thin the herd.


I’m going to go ahead and hope that the large numbers of people in the, “I’m not willing to say one way or the other,” categories are just the same ones who like to defuse political arguments over family dinners with cop-outs like, “Well, they’re all corrupt and pretty much the same anyway,” or, “Yeah, but all the news channels are just as bad.”

I mean, I can kind of understand the benefits of the neutral stance. For one, I’m sure no one with a foot in both camps will feel compelled to start drinking in the middle of the day today after reading this, so mark that one down in the win column for them.

(LA Times via Jezebel, image via ransomtech and Revenge of the Sith)

Meanwhile in related links

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.