Suspicious Minds Book Summary - Suspicious Minds Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Suspicious Minds summary

Rob Brotherton

Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories

3.5 (49 ratings)
12 mins
Table of Contents

    Suspicious Minds
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Conspiracy theories are the result of unanswered questions and our own natural instincts.

    Maybe someone has knowingly told you that 9/11 was an inside job planned by the US government; or that climate change isn’t real; or that Elvis is still alive and working at a gas station in Kentucky. These are just a few of today’s popular conspiracy theories. But have you ever wondered where these strange stories come from?

    Conspiracy theories like these are the result of unanswered questions.

    We’re attracted to conspiracy theories because they provide an explanation to a question that has been left unresolved. Or maybe the question has been given an official answer, but there is still contrary evidence that hasn’t yet been properly addressed.

    For example, many popular conspiracy theories of our day revolve around the events of 9/11 and unanswered questions such as: Did Al Qaeda orchestrate the attack or did the US government need a reason to start a war in the Middle East? Or, was Osama Bin Laden really killed or is the CIA keeping him alive somewhere in Washington, DC?

    Conspiracy theorists take questions like these and then furnish unconventional answers: Bin Laden died of natural causes soon after 9/11 but the US government covered this up in order to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It’s natural to think that conspiracy theories like these are simply crazy. However, having such misgivings is also a natural human instinct.

    You may have heard a conspiracy theorist’s voice in your own head from time to time. Perhaps you’ve asked yourself: How can global warming be real when it’s been so cold these past few years? Now just add some natural suspicion about the government and suddenly that thought becomes a conspiracy involving evil scientists trying to control world politics!

    Want to see all full key ideas from Suspicious Minds?

    Key ideas in Suspicious Minds

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Suspicious Minds about?

    Conspiracy theorists are everywhere. In fact, you might be one of them yourself! Have you ever questioned the official accounts of, say, 9/11 or the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Suspicious Minds (2015) reveals why we look for extreme answers to tragic events and explains that there’s much more to conspiracy theories than tinfoil hats and UFOs.

    Best quote from Suspicious Minds

    Approximately 40 percent of US citizens believe that climate change was invented by scientists and the government as an excuse to infringe on civilian rights.

    —Rob Brotherton
    example alt text

    Who should read Suspicious Minds?

    • People who are suspicious about 9/11
    • Anyone interested in conspiracy theories
    • Psychology students

    About the Author

    Rob Brotherton is a writer and academic psychologist. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at both Barnard College and Columbia University, and specializes in the psychology behind conspiracy theories.

    Categories with Suspicious Minds

    Books like Suspicious Minds

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial