Conspiracy theories in Bosnia and Herzegovina: a psychological study of conspiracy theory beliefs in a post-conflict society The main aim of this research study is to identify what beliefs in conspiracy theories are held by citizens of Bosnia & Herzegovina, how prevalent these beliefs are, and what other determining factors are at work in the holding of such convictions. A conspiracy theory can be broadly defined as a set of oversimplified and in many cases false beliefs in omnipresent and nefarious groups, that are driven by harmful and evil aims, and that coordinate the activities that they organise. The design of the study is descriptive-correlational, based on quantitative surveys. Participation in the study was anonymous and voluntary. In a random sample of citizens of Bosnia & Herzegovina, during June 2018, direct surveys of 1,046 respondents were carried out (53% of which were women). The predominant age of respondents was 25 years (the median age being 42 years). The ethnic structure of the sample: 14% Croats, around 42% Bosniaks, around 31% Serbs, 11% Bosnians, and around 2% of respondents declared themselves as Other. Our focal variable was Belief in conspiracy theories, and was assessed on a scale containing 24 statements that express particular conspiracy theories. Half of these items related to locally specific conspiracy theories, and the other half represented contemporary global conspiracy theories. The other measurements used in the study included personality traits, importance of identification with social groups, social cynicism, authoritarianism, perception of injustice, intergroup emotions, political and social participation, nationalism, social conservatism, trust in institutions and political orientation. The results show that around 96% of respondents are convinced by at least one conspiracy theory out of the 24 that were listed. With regard to the prevalence of the type of the conspiracy theories in the overall sample, two thirds of the respondents believe that privatization is the result of collaboration between the mafia and state institutions and that large corporations aim at destroying small market interests throughout the world. A slightly smaller number of respondents think that large multinational pharmaceutical companies spread diseases deliberately in order to boost their sales. Next in rank order is the conviction that the fate of nations in the Balkans has always been shaped by imperial forces working behind the scenes, and that the aim of the dissolution of former Yugoslavia was to destroy the socialist state and to impose a capitalist system. The most frequent narrative encountered attempts to explain the poor social and economic situation through conspiracies carried out by influential foreign actors. Further, different socio-economic classes of respondents differ in the strength of their conviction in conspiracy theories, insofar as respondents in lower social classes are more likely to accept conspiracy narratives. The largest differentiation, by socio-demographic traits, is demonstrated between members of different ethnic groups. Respondents of different ethnicities differ mostly in their conviction in conspiracy theory claims that are related to inter-ethnic relations resulting from the conflicts of the 1990s. As anticipated, conviction in conspiracy theories generally correlates positively with the "warm" emotions towards one’s own ethnic group and with the "cold" emotions towards other ethnic groups. Conviction in Western conspiracy theories correlates most consistently with emotions towards other groups. The stronger the conviction in Western conspiracy theories, the more positive the feelings towards one’s own ethnic group and the more negative towards other groups. Also, the study demonstrates that most conspiracy theories correlates positively with ethnic, religious, and entity identifications. Further, conviction in Western conspiracy theories correlates negatively with the state and Europe identifications. The data shows that respondents who are convinced of conspiratorial narratives are mostly on the conservative wing of the political spectrum: they lean towards authoritarianism, nationalism, conservatism, and religiosity. The personal and collective anxiety variables correlate positively with conviction in conspiracy theories, but the correlation between anxieties related to one’s own nation and the strength of conviction in conspiracy theories is somewhat stronger than in the case of feelings of personal threat. Correlations between trust in social institutions and levels of conviction in conspiracy theories proved to be very weak, but they do exist. The study has demonstrated that the general conspiratorial factor positively correlates with levels of trust in the RS President, RS police, and religious communities to which the respondents belong, while it correlates negatively with levels of trust in the FBiH President. On the other hand, strength of conviction in Western conspiracy theories correlates more firmly with trust in the RS President, RS police, and RS government. Further, conviction in Imperialist conspiracy theories shows the strongest negative correlation with trust in the FBiH President, BiH Presidency, BiH Council of Ministers, and the OHR. With regard to correlation between the perceptions of personal and social injustice, cynicism, and political and social participation, the study shows the general factor correlates with all variables except that which concerns social participation. The total sample of respondents exhibits positive correlation between conspiratorial thinking and political participation. On the other hand, respondents who are more likely to be convinced of conspiratorial narratives self-report weaker participation in social actions, such as fundraising, volunteering, and environmental activism. In the conclusions of the study we propose the recommendations regarding what government and society can do to counter conspiracy theories. The first general recommendation, as common sense would have it and as the results of this study demonstrate, is that social and political institutions should be open and transparent. The second general recommendation, which may be even more general than the first and which requires a long-term approach, is to shape the education system in such a way as to focus more on the development of critical thinking and research skills in young people. The third recommendation would be that civil society institutions, i.e. NGOs, media and the public will have to work together to counter conspiracy theories. Lastly, the public as a whole should be sensitized in relation to conspiracy theories, especially those which are rooted in ideological conflict. Again, excellence in education must be emphasised which has the potential to create powerful foundations for critical thinking and the critical evaluation of information. At the very end of the paper we discuss the issues and limitations of the study and the ideas of possible improvements of the research design.