Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Craig A. Anderson
People tend to hold on to their beliefs even when it appears that they shouldn't. Belief perseverance is the tendency to cling to one's initial belief even after receiving new information that contradicts or disconfirms the basis of that belief. Everyone has tried to change someone's belief, only to have them stubbornly remain unchanged. For example, you may have had such debates concerning the death penalty, or abortion, or evolution. In many cases, resistance to challenges to beliefs is logical and defensible. For example, if you've always done well in math classes, getting a “C” on a math test should not lead you to abandon your belief that you are usually good at math. However, in some cases people cling to beliefs that logically should be abandoned, or at least modified. There is overwhelming evidence that smoking increases the likelihood of contracting cancer and that exposure to media violence increases ...