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Rational and Irrational BeliefsResearch, Theory, and Clinical Practice$
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Daniel David, Steven Lynn, and Albert Ellis

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182231

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182231.001.0001

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Social and Cultural Aspects of Rational and Irrational Beliefs: A Brief Reconceptualization

Social and Cultural Aspects of Rational and Irrational Beliefs: A Brief Reconceptualization

Chapter:
(p.49) 3 Social and Cultural Aspects of Rational and Irrational Beliefs: A Brief Reconceptualization
Source:
Rational and Irrational Beliefs
Author(s):

Daniel David

Raymond DiGiuseppe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182231.003.0003

This chapter reconceptualizes the way we typically think about the role that culture and environment play in shaping rational and irrational beliefs. It presents three main arguments. First, a description of the differences between two groups or categories such as rational and irrational beliefs, does not explain the differences. Stating that culture explains or determines these differences contributes little to knowledge (i.e., cognitive profit), the question still remains why do these differences exist? Second, specific mechanisms that mediate the ability to learn, for example, are inherent to human nature (e.g., evolution-based), and go a long way to account for cultural differences. Third, culture is not an independent causal agent, divorced from individuals. Thus, it is important not to ignore the role of evolution in creating, maintaining, transmitting, and changing culture.

Keywords:   culture, rational beliefs, irrational beliefs, social science, evolution

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