Powerful pharma and its marginalized alternatives? Effects of individual differences in conspiracy mentality on attitudes toward medical approaches.

Only little is known about the underpinning psychological processes that determine medical choices. Across four studies, we establish that conspiracy mentality predicts a preference for alternative over biomedical therapies. Study 1a (N = 392) and 1b (N = 204) provide correlational support, Study 2 (N = 185) experimentally tested the role of power: People who endorsed a conspiracy mentality perceived a drug more positively if its approval was supported by a powerless (vs. powerful) agent. Study 3 (N = 239) again showed a moderating effect of power and conspiracy mentality on drug evaluation by comparing analytic versus holistic approaches. These findings point to the consequences of conspiracy mentality for health behavior and prevention programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)