Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford


  • Adam Carlitz
  • Kimberly RiosEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1785-1



Subjective judgments of what is true or false.


Drawing from traditional philosophical conceptions of belief, psychologists define “beliefs” as fundamental units of thought (i.e., subjective judgments of what is true or false) upon which attitudes are often built. Attitudes, by contrast, are global evaluations – liking or disliking – toward an object (e.g., person, thing, event, idea). For instance, one might hold a belief that Heaven does [does not] exist. One might also hold a positive [negative] attitude– that is, be in favor of [opposed to] – the idea that good people spend eternity in Heaven after death. Beliefs and attitudes, though distinct, are not mutually exclusive. Thus, it is possible to like an idea while not necessarily believing it, and vice versa. For example, most people enjoy the fantastical idea of having superpowers but do not believe superpowers are possible....

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio UniversityAthensUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Cottrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Social SciencesNew College of FloridaSarasotaUSA