Does pseudoscience appeal to a certain kind of person, or do social contexts draw regular people into pseudoscience? We examined this issue by conducting survey research at the Texas Bigfoot Conference. The obtained results supported the social perspective. Exposure to pro-Bigfoot arguments and interpreting information in a confirmatory manner likely work together to create certainty that Bigfoot exists. These results suggest that folk theories about pseudoscience supporters being unintelligent or irrational are often unfair and misguided. On the contrary, susceptibility to believing in pseudoscience is a human problem. Humans, therefore, should recognize and take measures to overcome this blind spot that accompanies human nature.
Craig Foster received his PhD in social psychology from the University of North Carolina. He currently serves as a psychology professor at the United States Air Force Academy. His research interests include scientific reasoning and the development of pseudoscientific beliefs.