Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Social psychology: Altruism · Attribution · Attitudes · Conformity · Discrimination · Groups · Interpersonal relations · Obedience · Prejudice · Norms · Perception · Index · Outline

This article is in need of attention from a psychologist/academic expert on the subject.
Please help recruit one, or improve this page yourself if you are qualified.
This banner appears on articles that are weak and whose contents should be approached with academic caution

A belief system is a set of mutually supportive beliefs. The beliefs may be religious, philosophical, ideological or a combination of these.

Each of us has a belief system, a set of interlocking and mutually supporting beliefs about, amongst other things, the physical world and the psychology of others.

Such belief systems are seldom unitary , but more likely to consist of paradoxical sets of beliefs that are accessed according to circumstances.

For some the belief system may be grounded in religious or cultural schema of values.

Belief systems generate and maintain attitudes and are in turn affected by feedback loops from experience and behaviour and attitude change.

The British philosopher Stephen Law has described some belief systems (including belief in homeopathy, psychic powers and alien abduction) as "claptrap" and said that they "draw people in and hold them captive so they become willing slaves ... if you get sucked in, it can be extremely difficult to think your way clear again".[1]


  1. New Scientist (magazine), 11 June 2011 [1]

See alsoEdit

References & BibliographyEdit

Key textsEdit



Additional materialEdit


  • Kiesler, C.A. (1971) The Psychology of Commitment: Experiments Linking Behaviour to Belief, New York: Academic Press.


  • Google Scholar
  • Abelson, R.P. and Carroll, J. (1965) Computer simulation of individual belief systems, American Behavioural Science 8: 24-30.

External linksEdit