Belief systems are important to study because our psychosocial being is embedded in our beliefs. They influence how we think, feel, and act in everyday life and in controlled experimental contexts. All people are psychosocial, self-aware, and busy abstracting meanings from their ongoing lives, from the available records of past lives and civilizations, and from imagined alternative futures. We become knowers, continually reconstructing our understanding of our circumstances to guide us. Beliefs are starting points or first principles, are never fully specified, and are seldom scrutinized. They underlie the general paradigms which influence our thoughts, feelings, and conduct. Only as we understand them can we understand ourselves and the nature of our knowledge and use both as we intend.


Common Sense Religious Belief Belief System Religious Coping Religious Involvement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Forrest B. Tyler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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