Conspiracy theorists believe that the truth always lies hidden and has to be unearthed. They therefore regard as hopelessly naive those who think things are generally as they seem to be. Freudians are the same. They believe it is clever to interpret a dream about a train entering a tunnel as actually being about sex. Strangely they don’t believe that a dream about sex is actually all about trains and tunnels.
Believing you are clever makes you feel good about yourself so you have an incentive to believe that things are not as they seem and to dream up unlikely interpretations of events. The weirder the interpretation the better. While you are insightful and can see beyond mere appearances, others are plodding, stupid and blinkered and stuck inside a conventional box that they don’t even realise they are in. They are the dumb stooges of malicious governments and capitalist media outlets while you with your innate brilliance have managed to escape from the matrix.
Sometimes added to this superiority complex of conspiracy theorists is the Dunning-Kruger Effect. People who are not very good at something tend to be bad judges of what constitutes ‘good’ in that field. So if you are rubbish at logic, reasoning and rationality you will probably also be a bad judge of what good logic, reason and rationality looks like. In this way conspiracy theorists are doubly handicapped, firstly with bad reasoning and secondly in having no way of recognising how awful their reasoning is.
Most of us naturally tend to overestimate our own ability and it takes experience, realism and honesty to rein in this natural arrogance. If you have never bothered that much about reality then you probably won’t be able to distinguish between your own ineptitude and someone’s else brilliance. Both will look the same to you, though you will probably judge your skill to be superior. If your grades in college are low you will assume that your teacher dislikes you, doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say or is annoyed that you aren’t toeing the line. That your essays really are God-awful probably won’t enter your head.
The end effect of combining the incentive to believe that things are not as they seem with the Dunning-Kruger Effect is a world filled with the kind of comments you see every day on the internet.