A tribal mind: Beliefs that signal group identity or commitment

Mind and Language 37 (3):444-464 (2022)
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People are biased toward beliefs that are welcomed by their in-group. Some beliefs produced by these biases—such as climate change denial and religious belief—can be fruitfully modeled by signaling theory. The idea is that the beliefs function so as to be detected by others and manipulate their behavior, primarily for the benefits that accrue from favorable tribal self-presentation. Signaling theory can explain the etiology, distinctive form, proper function, and alterability of these beliefs.



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Eric Funkhouser
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

References found in this work

The Enigma of Reason.Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Animal Signals: Mind-Reading and Manipulation.John R. Krebs & Richard Dawkins - 1984 - In J. R. Krebs & N. B. Davies (eds.), Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach. Blackwell Scientific. pp. 380–402.
Socially adaptive belief.Daniel Williams - 2020 - Mind and Language 36 (3):333-354.
11. Why Is Reasoning Biased?Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier - 2017 - In Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier (eds.), The Enigma of Reason. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press. pp. 205-221.

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