BHSU Geek Speak lecture examines psychology behind conspiracies

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, April 10, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant professor of psychology at BHSU, examines the psychology of conspiracies during the next Geek Speak lecture Thursday, April 16 at 4 p.m. in room 110 of Jonas Hall on the BHSU campus.    



Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, landing on the moon, and the autism/vaccination controversy are a few of the conspiracies to be addressed during the next Geek Speak lecture at Black Hills State University Thursday, April 16 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110. The lecture is free and open to the public.

During the lecture Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant professor of psychology, will explore the reasons people believe in conspiracies even in the face overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

"The Loch Ness Monster, for example, has been proven a hoax many times. You could drain the lake and give whoever believes all the time in the world to examine it.  It will not shake their beliefs there&rsquos always a way they can explain it," said Karagiorgakis.

Karagiorgakis says he believes some individuals have difficulty rationalizing evidence that does not fit their worldview. The danger in continuing to believe in conspiracies, says Karagriogakis, comes when similar patterns of thinking and argument affect real-life issues.

"The conspiracy of autism and vaccinations - that has real-life consequences. It&rsquos uncomfortable, but necessary, to look within oneself to question some of your worldviews or perspectives," said Karagiorgakis. "Education helps us be skeptical and critical to draw our own conclusions in the most informed way possible."

The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU University Honors program, features academic discussion and topics not normally discussed in the traditional classroom. The goal of the weekly lectures is to expose students to diversity within the disciplines.

For more information on Geek Speak, contact Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, assistant professor of English and director of University Honors at or 605-642-6918.

Upcoming Geek Speak topics include:

April 23: John Ginther: "Don&rsquot Hate the Player, Hate the Game"

May 5 and May 7: The Defense (Capstone defense for University Honors seniors)


Number of views (367)/Comments (0)