A large body of research demonstrates the incredible power of initial conceptions, naïve views, scripts, and stereotypes that are the inevitable results of our naïve theories. Prior knowledge enhances encoding and retrieval when it connects well to the new information, but hinders these processes when in conflict with it. Theories and facts contradicting existing beliefs are conveniently misinterpreted, treated as insignificant, or taken as valid only within the confines of classrooms. Belief-perseverance–persistence of explicitly discredited beliefs - is ubiquitous to the point of serving as the ultimate evidence of the feebleness of our mind. Standard explanations in terms of supporting beliefs and affective-motivational components are partial at best. This paper proposes an explanatory model that illuminates the cognitive-adaptive sources of perseverance, demonstrating its inevitability given the general principles of economy and equilibrium that govern brain operations, the naïve theories we generate to make sense of the world, and the heuristics we employ to meet adaptive goals.
|Keywords:||Belief Perseverance, Cognitive Economy, Emotive and Cognitive Equilibrium, Naive Theories and Misconceptions|
Faculty, Department of Philosophy, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
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