A research showed that half of the American population believes in at least one medical conspiracy theory. One of the most popular theory claims that the country deliberately stops people from curing themselves with natural remedies and it is supported by 37% of the respondents.
Jay Eric Oliver from the University of Chicago, leader of the research, says that people find it easier to believe in any conspiracy theory, than in some complicated medical explanation.
“The story of epidemiology and theories of probability are harder to understand than the story that says ‘If you take this, you will be sick’ “, explains Oliver.
Together with a colleague, he collected the answers of a survey that included 1 351 adult Americans. Six popular medical theories were offered to the respondents and they were asked to answer if they have ever heard of them or not.
The survey showed that many of the participants believe that an US espionage agency deliberately infected a large number of African Americans with HIV. American government, of course, knows that cell phones cause cancer, but never does anything to stop it, and usual vaccines cause autism in children.
About 50% of the respondents agreed with at least one of the listed conspiracy theories. 20 % of the respondents believed in the theory of vaccines and autism.
Researchers concluded that people who believed in the conspiracy theories often avoid traditional drugs and support alternative medicine.
“Instead of considering these patients as crazy, doctors should be aware of their attitude and the fact that they will not follow the prescribed therapy”, says Oliver.