The Belief Perseverance Concept

Topics: Truth, Jonestown, Candidate Pages: 2 (734 words) Published: February 17, 2013
Belief Perseverance
Jonestown cult members made a public declaration of their loyalty to Jim Jones by selling everyone of their personal possessions, and then followed him to the Republic of Guyana. Later, they would experience irrational manipulation and abuse, and they even stayed to the point of committing mass suicide when told them to do so. This terrible and unfortunate story is a perfect example of belief perseverance. Belief perseverance essentially states that if we decide that we believe something, then we will persevere in our belief, even when facing indisputable evidence proving otherwise. This is particularly applicable when the individual has stated their beliefs to other people, or if the others generally know the beliefs of the individual. The psychological term has been around since 1975, when two psychologists conducted an experiment in attempt to prove their hypothesis. The experiment asked participants to look at suicide notes to determine which were real and which were not real. A third of each of the participants were told that they were right 10, 17, and 24 out of 25 times. They were then told that they had been lied to and asked to estimate more correctly. Interestingly enough, each participant who had been told higher numbers still continued to guess high, even after knowing that they had been lied to. It has been interesting to learn about this concept and apply it to friends that strongly support one of the republican presidential nominees. The nominee’s campaigns have been going on for some time now, so I feel that the majority of voters have already picked who they will be giving their vote to. What is interesting to me, is when the supporter of one candidate attempts to convince the supporter of another candidate, that one candidate is inferior to the other. These conversations almost always go nowhere, and usually just result in frustration between the two. There are three different types, or theories, of belief...
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