To believe something is to take it to be true. Beliefs are, thus, our representations of reality. Like many other cognitive abilities, belief-related abilities are typically acquired in the early stages of life, and they are sometimes damaged in the late stages of life. This entry discusses some important psychological issues on beliefs from a lifespan developmental point of view.

The term belief refers to the mental state a person is in when he or she takes something to be true. Believing is an example of what philosophers call “propositional attitudes.” To believe something is to take an attitude toward a proposition. When John believes that there is a teacup on the table, for example, he takes an attitude (namely, the attitude of believing) toward the ...

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