Mechanisms of Belief Persistence in the Face of Societal Disagreement

Kerem Oktar, Tania Lombrozo

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

People have a remarkable ability to remain steadfast in their beliefs in the face of large-scale disagreement. This has important consequences (e.g., societal polarization), yet its psychological underpinnings are poorly understood. In this paper, we answer foundational questions regarding belief persistence, from its prevalence to variability. Across two Experiments (N = 356, N = 354), we find that participants are aware of societal disagreement about controversial issues, yet overwhelmingly (~85%) do not question their views if asked to reflect on this disagreement. Both studies provide evidence that explanations for persistence vary across domains, with epistemic and meta-epistemic explanations among the most prevalent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages1277-1283
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2022
Event44th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Cognitive Diversity, CogSci 2022 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jul 27 2022Jul 30 2022

Conference

Conference44th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Cognitive Diversity, CogSci 2022
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityToronto
Period7/27/227/30/22

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • conciliation
  • controversial
  • disagreement
  • domain
  • judgment
  • persistence
  • polarization
  • suspension

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