A cognitive account of belief: a tentative road map

Michael H. Connors*, Peter W. Halligan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Over the past decades, delusions have become the subject of growing and productive research spanning clinical and cognitive neurosciences. Despite this, the nature of belief, which underpins the construct of delusions, has received little formal investigation. No account of delusions, however, would be complete without a cognitive level analysis of belief per se. One reason for this neglect is the assumption that, unlike more established and accessible modular psychological process (e.g., vision, audition, face-recognition, language-processing, and motor-control systems), beliefs comprise more distributed and therefore less accessible central cognitive processes. In this paper, we suggest some defining characteristics and functions of beliefs. Working back from cognitive accounts of delusions, we consider potential candidate cognitive processes that may be involved in normal belief formation. Finally, we advance a multistage account of the belief process that could provide the basis for a more comprehensive model of belief.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1588
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Volume6
    Issue numberFEB
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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