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Psychology Glossary

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Belief Perseverance



Belief Perseverance:

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Social psychologists Ross, Lepper and Hubbard found that some people have a tendency or unwillingness to admit that their foundational premises are incorrect even when shown convincing evidence to the contrary. Belief perseverance is this tendency to reject convincing proof and become even more tenaciously held when the belief has been publicly announced to others.

For example, members of the Jonestown cult made a public admission of their loyalty to Jim Jones by selling all their possessions and following him to Guyana. Even though they later experienced irrational manipulation and abuse, they stayed to the point of committing mass suicide when he told them to do so.