Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Psychological correlates of certainty strength: Measuring the relative influence of evidence, opinion of personal contacts & importance to self-identity
by Reser, Jared Edward, M.A., University of Southern California, 2009, 43; 1473497
Abstract (Summary)

This research examines the psychological foundations of personal belief by measuring how different determinants of belief formulation contribute to certainty strength. Together, two studies collected data from over 400 undergraduate students regarding how physical, social and religious beliefs are formulated. Participants rated their strength of belief in these domains relative to the following determinants: the importance of substantiating evidence, the perceived logic inherent in a belief, the importance to self-identity, the influence of personal contacts, the social community and authority figures and the expected permanence, perceived relevance and personal likeability of the belief. The present research found that strength of certainty can be predicted by the quality of empirical evidence that people can offer to support the belief, by their estimates of their parent's certainty in the belief and by the perceived importance of the belief to their sense of self-identity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Walsh, David
Commitee: Farver, Jo Ann, Read, Stephen
School: University of Southern California
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 48/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Belief, Certainty, Evidence, Opinion, Parent, Self-identity
Publication Number: 1473497
ISBN: 978-1-109-56355-9
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