chapter  2
24 Pages

The neuropsychology of belief formation: Robyn Langdon and Emily Connaughton

ByROBYN LANGDON, EMILY CONNAUGHTON

This chapter aims to advance the neuropsychological understanding of believing. Neuropsychologists study brain structure and function related to psychological processes, in this case, the processes of believing. We adopt an everyday understanding of believing as involving whatever processes are happening in the brain and in the mind when someone says, or simply thinks, ‘I believe that x (is true)’. According to Stephens and Graham (2004), this ‘propositional attitude’approach to believing (see also Churchland & Churchland, this volume) commits one, at least implicitly, to the following claims: (a) beliefs possess representational content; (b) believers hold the representational content of their beliefs to be correct; and (c) since believers believe their beliefs to be true, beliefs guide actions and verbal reports, and influence emotions.