I’ll be brief here because the paper itself, just published in Current Biology (reference below, access free, pdf here) is short: just over a page of text.
After finding evidence in a small survey (N = 157) that teleology (“the tendency to ascribe function and final cause to nonintentional natural facts and events”) was significantly (albeit moderately) correlated with belief in conspiracy theories, the authors used a much larger French sample (N = 1252) to see if teleological views were correlated with both creationism and conspiracy-theory views. They used two types of teleology, and one or both were correlated with both belief in creationism and conspiracies (my emphases in all below).
Following Kaiser-Guttman criteria (eigenvalues > 1), we retained a two-factor solution. We called the first factor ‘animism’, as it clusters measures involving attribution of consciousness and agency to nonliving entities. The second factor, ‘finalism’, tapped instead into…
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