In This Chapter

Belief Formation, Organization, and Change: Cognitive and Motivational Influences

Authored by: Dolores Albarracín

The Handbook of Attitudes

Print publication date:  April  2005
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805844924
eBook ISBN: 9781410612823
Adobe ISBN: 9781135626174


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This chapter is concerned with the representation of beliefs in memory and the factors that influence their formation and change. After discussing the nature of beliefs and their relation to other cognitions (e.g., attitudes, opinions, and other types of judgments), we review alternative conceptualizations of the way in which belief-relevant knowledge is organized in memory and the processes that underlie its retrieval and use. Then, we discuss factors that influence the computation of beliefs on the basis of criteria other than the knowledge to which they directly pertain. Finally, we consider motivational factors that affect responses to belief-relevant information and the change in beliefs that can result from these responses.

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