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Dr. Lukas Neville

PsyPost: Psychological entitlement: New research unveils link to pandemic non-compliance and conspiracy beliefs

March 5, 2024 — 

In their new study, Lukas Neville and his colleagues posited that entitled individuals might gravitate towards conspiracy theories as a defense mechanism against threats to their self-concept. By endorsing conspiracy theories, these individuals find justification for violating social norms. For instance, “sovereign citizen” theories can rationalize tax evasion, while COVID conspiracy theories might justify ignoring health recommendations or lockdown measures intended to curb the virus’s spread.

“My coauthors have had an ongoing interest in how entitlement influences workplace behavior. Entitlement is about feeling like you are owed unearned, special treatment and favors. We have other papers about the effects of entitlement in workplace interactions — for example, its effect on service workers and negotiator,” explained Neville, an associate professor of organizational behavior at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.

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