Conspiracy theories spread more widely and faster than ever before. Fear and uncertainty prompt people to believe false narratives of danger and hidden plots, but are not sufficient without considering the role and ideological bias of the media. This timely book focuses on making sense of how and why some people respond to their fear of a threat by creating or believing conspiracy stories. It integrates insights from psychology, political science, communication, and information sciences to provide a complete overview and theory of how conspiracy beliefs manifest. Through this multi-disciplinary perspective, rigorous research develops and tests a practical, simple way to frame and understand conspiracy theories. The book supplies unprecedented amounts of new data from six empirical studies and unpicks the complexity of the process that leads to the empowerment of conspiracy beliefs.