Belief Persistence Despite Discredited Evidence
"Humans have a pronounced tendency to believe when they shouldn't, disbelieve despite counter-evidence, and sustain beliefs that are unreasonable. One of the ways that this is manifest is as belief persistence. A number of studies, including this one: Anderson, Lepper, and Ross, “Perseverance of Social Theories: The Role of Explanation in the Persistence of Discredited Information,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1980, Vol. 39, No.6, 1037-1049 have shown that people will go on believing something even after their reasons have been shown to be faulty.
Anderson, Lepper, and Ross presented subjects with some evidence and asked them to theorize about it. Then they told the subjects that the evidence they had been given was completely fabricated and false. But when tested afterwards about the truth of their theory based on that evidence, the subjects still tended to believe. In philosopher speak: For any S who forms belief P on the basis of evidence E, belief in P will tend to persist even after evidence E has been completely discredited to S.
The implications here for religious belief are obvious. Spend a lot of time entertaining fairy tales about Adam and Eve, Noah, and people rising from the dead in Sunday school, and even if you discover that the evidence for those beliefs is suspect, the belief has a way of persisting. Once it's in there, it's very hard to get it out. There's a copy of the study here "
Humans want to be right- no one likes to admit they are wrong. I think the majority of people, even when presented with evidence to the contrary, will still believe what they did before. They will somehow try to validate those beliefs any way they can regardless of how ridiculous they may seem to others.
Answer by IhartU at 8:48 AM on Mar. 31, 2011
Answer by soyousay at 10:58 PM on Mar. 30, 2011
Answer by anime_mom619 at 11:29 PM on Mar. 30, 2011
Answer by KristiS11384 at 12:34 AM on Mar. 31, 2011
Answer by autodidact at 1:33 AM on Mar. 31, 2011
Answer by MrsMWF at 10:20 PM on Mar. 30, 2011
Answer by EdwinsMommy at 10:24 PM on Mar. 30, 2011
Answer by Renee3K at 10:27 PM on Mar. 30, 2011
Some of us can believe in God but find the story of Adam and Eve to be unbelievable...a fiction. That is possible you know. I truly do think that people who hang onto the stories in the Bible and believe that they actually happened have been afraid to question it....afraid of that big bolt of lightning from the sky,that will come down and strike them dead for questioning.
Answer by minnesotanice at 12:12 AM on Mar. 31, 2011
Answer by janet116 at 12:25 AM on Mar. 31, 2011
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