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Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a conjecture or premise to be true.

[1] Dispositional and occurrent belief concerns the contextual activation of the belief into thoughts (reactive of propositions) or ideas (based on the belief's premise).

Contents
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1 Belief, knowledge and epistemology 2 Belief as a psychological theory 3 How beliefs are formed 4 Belief-in 5 Delusional beliefs 6 See also 7 Notes 8 External links

Belief, knowledge and epistemology
The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy. Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge and belief. The primary problem in epistemology is to understand exactly what is needed in order for us to have knowledge. In a notion derived from Plato's dialogue Theaetetus, philosophy has traditionally defined knowledge as "justified true belief". The relationship between belief and knowledge is that a belief is knowledge if the belief is true, and if the believer has a justification (reasonable and necessarily plausible assertions/evidence/guidance) for believing it is true. A false belief is not considered to be knowledge, even if it is sincere. A sincere believer in the flat earth theory does not know that the Earth is flat.[citation needed] Later epistemologists, for instance Gettier (1963)[2] and Goldman (1967),[3] have questioned the "justified true belief" definition.

Belief as a psychological theory
Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more abstract in their analysis, and much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis. The concept of belief presumes a subject (the believer) and an object of belief (the proposition). So, like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind, whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial. Beliefs are sometimes divided into core beliefs (that are actively thought about) and dispositional beliefs (that may be ascribed to someone who has not thought about the issue). For example, if asked "do you believe tigers wear pink pajamas?" a person might answer that they do not, despite the fact they may never have thought about this situation before. [4]

(most notably proposed by Paul and Patricia Churchland). treating the computer as if it did (e. then any attempt to find the underlying neural processes that support it will fail. however.That a belief is a mental state has been seen by some as contentious. but they don't go as far as rejecting the concept of belief as a predictive device. Philosopher Lynne Rudder Baker has outlined four main contemporary approaches to belief in her controversial book Saving Belief:[5]     Our common-sense understanding of belief is correct . and even computers as if they had beliefs is often a successful strategy . This has important implications for understanding the neuropsychology and neuroscience of belief. If the concept of belief is incoherent. Dennett gives the example of playing a computer at chess. animals. but that there may be a correlation between what we take to be a belief when someone says "I believe that snow is white" and how a future theory of psychology will explain this behaviour. Our common-sense understanding of belief may not be entirely correct. belief-based explanations of mind and behaviour are at a different level of explanation and are not reducible to those based on fundamental neuroscience. Daniel Dennett and Lynne Rudder Baker. How beliefs are formed . others[citation needed] have gone as far as arguing that there is no consistent or coherent mental representation that underlies our common use of the belief concept and that it is therefore obsolete and should be rejected. that the computer believes that taking the opposition's queen will give it a considerable advantage) is likely to be a successful and predictive strategy. The Churchlands argue that our commonsense concept of belief is similar in that as we discover more about neuroscience and the brain. beliefs exist as coherent entities. In these cases science hasn't provided us with a more detailed account of these theories. Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong. or the phlogiston theory of combustion.Known as eliminativism. are both eliminativists in that they hold that beliefs are not a scientifically valid concept." in this conception. but completely rejected them as valid scientific concepts to be replaced by entirely different accounts. argues that the concept of belief is like obsolete theories of times past such as the four humours theory of medicine. philosopher Stephen Stich has argued for this particular understanding of belief.g.This view argues that we will eventually reject the idea of belief as we use it now.Sometimes called the "mental sentence theory. and the way we talk about them in everyday life is a valid basis for scientific endeavour. but it is close enough to make some useful predictions . Most notably. named by Dennett the intentional stance. although both may be explanatory at their own level. While some [citation needed] have argued that beliefs are represented in the mind as sentence-like constructs. treating people. this view. Jerry Fodor is one of the principal defenders of this point of view. While few people would agree that the computer held beliefs.The major proponents of this view. the inevitable conclusion will be to reject the belief hypothesis in its entirety. In this understanding of belief. Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong and will be completely superseded by a radically different theory that will have no use for the concept of belief as we know it .

Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. still strongly cling to their beliefs. she states "You want your beliefs to change. [6] Most individuals believe the religion they were taught in childhood.[11] Belief-in To "believe in" someone or something is a distinct concept from "believe-that. or its existence is in doubt. . and other strong positive emotions. even educated people. [10] However. especially to the head. and welcoming everything that the world and people around you can teach you. and act on those beliefs even against their own self-interest. Beliefs form in a variety of ways:     We tend to internalise the beliefs of the people around us during childhood. [9] Physical trauma.[8] Is belief voluntary? Rational individuals need to reconcile their direct reality with any said belief. shock.E. well aware of the process by which beliefs form. and association with images of sex. Berrios has challenged the view that delusions are genuine beliefs and instead labels them as "empty speech acts." There are two types of belief-in:[12]   Commendatory . However. it reflects the fact that contradictions were necessarily overcome using cognitive dissonance. In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass the White Queen says. even if those beliefs fly in the face of all previous beliefs. love. beauty. It's proof that you are keeping your eyes open. therefore. sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. as in. In Anna Rowley's book. if belief is not present or possible. Psychiatrist and historian G." where affected persons are motivated to express false or bizarre belief statements due to an underlying psychological disturbance. "Why." This means that peoples' beliefs should evolve as they gain new experiences. living fully.[7] People may adopt the beliefs of a charismatic leader. It is often used when the entity is not real. the majority of mental health professionals and researchers treat delusions as if they were genuine beliefs. "He believes in witches and ghosts" or "many children believe in Santa Claus" or "I believe in a deity" are typical examples. [13] Delusional beliefs Delusions are defined as beliefs in psychiatric diagnostic criteria[citation needed] (for example in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)." Existential claim . Advertising can form or change beliefs through repetition." Political beliefs depend most strongly on the political beliefs most common in the community where we live. and produce actions that are clearly not in their own selfinterest. can radically alter a person's beliefs.Psychologists study belief formation and the relationship between beliefs and actions." This is often quoted in mockery of the common ability of people to entertain beliefs contrary to fact.to claim belief in the existence of an entity or phenomenon with the implied need to justify its claim to existence.an expression of confidence in a person or entity. Leadership Therapy. "I believe in his ability to do the job.