This recalls what's long been known by hoaxers, that it's easy to fool people if you just tell them what they want to believe. That is, people readily accept ideas that complement their pre-existing view of the world and of themselves.
I also recall an old finding from social psychology, that people who rate low on self-confidence tend to have far more realistic views of the world, because they're willing to admit that they might be wrong. Whereas highly confident people have a hard time accepting the idea that they could be wrong about anything. So once they latch onto an idea, no matter how stupid it might be, they cling to it.