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April Fools’ Day is a popular holiday in Alberta, with 75% having been fooled in the past and 58% having fooled someone else. We also found more than one-quarter of AB adults believe in five of eleven famous conspiracy theories!

Calgary, AB – A recent Insights West online poll surveying 667 Albertans found there are numerous tricksters living in our province who enjoy a good practical joke on April Fools’. The majority of Albertans participate in the annual holiday and are known to pull a prank or two.

Three-quarters (75%) of Albertans have been fooled in the past, most commonly by a friend (59%), co-worker (35%) or sibling (31%). Despite the fact that only 35% of Albertans are fans of April Fools’ Day, close three in five (58%) have fooled someone else on April Fools’ Day, with the likely victims being a friend (58%), sibling (44%), co-worker (38%) or a spouse (36%).

Aside from the innocent fibs told on April Fools’ Day, results revealed a surprising number of Albertans believe in some fairly outrageous conspiracy theories that Insights West put to the test. Among the eleven tested, over one quarter of Albertans believe in half of the popular theories.

The existence of UFO’s emerged as the most believable conspiracy – 45% of Albertans claim they“believe” UFO’s exist (16% believe completely and 29% believe somewhat). Shockingly, 36% “believe” that scientists have found a cure for cancer, but the government and/or pharmaceutical companies are withholding it (14% believe completely and 22% believe somewhat). There is also a notable number of Albertans who are skeptical about the death of Princess Diana, with 30% “believing” the tragic car crash that resulted in her death was in fact an assassination plot rather than an accident (7% believe completely, 23% believe somewhat).

Surprisingly, more than a quarter (26%) also believe the conspiracy theory that human beings have already been cloned—the same number that believes that, for example, the Mafia, the Israelis, the KGB, or the Illuminati, were involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination. One in five (19%) believe that 9/11 was part of a US government conspiracy.

Among the theories tested, those that were the least believable are that Elvis is still alive (2% believe), that dinosaurs never existed (5% believe), and that Osama Bin Laden is still alive (7% believe).

“It’s astonishing the number of Albertans who believe in some of the pretty radical conspiracy theories,” says Jane Ha-Trapp, Vice President of Insights West. “Albertans have a lot of skepticism around events that most would regard as scientific truths or historical events.”

Click here to see a chart showing the percentages for those who “believe” (either completely or somewhat) in the popular conspiracy theories tested.


About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has eight full-time and five part-time employees.

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 26th – 31st, 2013, among 667 Albertans aged 18+ who are Your Insights panel members. is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for AB age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Jane Ha-Trapp
Vice President, Insights West