Epistemically Suspect Beliefs can be partly explained by individual’s propensity towards contradiction

Abstract

Studies on epistemically suspect beliefs (ESB) have suggested that individual’s analytic cognition suppresses unwarranted beliefs, however, our previous studies also showed that an inhibitory effect of analytic cognition was higher among Westerners than Easterners. Rather, intuitive cognition was a common predictor of beliefs between two cultures. Among several cultural differences in cognitive style, we suspect that tendency towards dialectic thinking, i.e., tolerance for contradiction may contribute cultural differences on ESB. The present study aimed to explore this possibility and investigated the association between beliefs and other cognitive measures including individual’s cognitive abilities, thinking dispositions, personality traits and propensity towards dialectic thinking. The results showed that the ESB resulted from our intuitive cognition for the most part, and that the effect of culture diminished whilst controlling individual’s tendency towards dialectic thinking and style of causal cognition. The cultural difference in a relationship between beliefs and cognitive style was discussed.


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