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Conspiracy Theories - what, where, how, why!

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Join Stuart Lloyd (TMU Science Scholar) to investigate and discover what are conspiracy theories. In this video class Stuart will discuss how conspiracy theories work and why they are so attractive to so many. The class aims to develop Thinkers' critical thinking skills by teaching them about: - The psychology of conspiracy theories. - How we can use logic to assess theories for their validity. - How we can become more critical consumers of information. Further, the class will develop historical and social awareness by discussing: - Conspiracy theories from the past. - How conspiracy theories can interact and affect social events. The goal of this class is not to tell Thinkers what to think, but to give them the tools to become critical, thoughtful users of information. This class supports the development of critical thinking, communication, digital literacy, and emotional skills. The class is made up of 6 parts: Part 0 - Introduction to the course and to Stuart's background (2 lessons) Part 1 - What are conspiracy theories: difference between science and conspiracies, the history of conspiracy theories, the psychology of conspiracy theories (8 lessons) Part 2 - Examples of conspiracy theories: alien conspiracy theories, joke conspiracy theories, secret societies, medical and covid conspiracy theories, suspicious deaths, low stake conspiracy theories (12 lessons) Part 3 – The effects of conspiracy theories: benefits and costs, effects on society, effects on social media (4 lessons) Part 4 – How people get lost down the rabbit hole: tactics, personalities, social media and the internet, how conpiracy theories fail (4 lessons) Part 5 - How to talk to conspiracy theorists: communication, empathy, and safety (3 lessons) Part 6 - Conclusions and references (2 lessons). Total of 35 lessons (approximately 8 hours), with activities given to encourage Thinkers to undertake their own research and analysis.

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