Cognitive neuroscience research has begun to explore the mental processes underlying what a belief and what believing are. Recent evidence suggests that believing involves fundamental brain functions that result in meaningful probabilistic representations, called beliefs. When relatively stable, these beliefs allow for guidance of behavior in individuals and social groups. However, they are also fluid and can be modified by new relevant information, interpersonal contact, social pressure, and situational demands. We present a theoretical model of believing that can account for the formation of both empirically grounded and metaphysical beliefs.

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