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New book by Mark Brandt (ed.) on Belief Systems

The terms fake news and post-truth have become a fixed part of our vocabulary. Mistrust of public institutions and science seems to be growing, just like the gap between reality and rhetoric. In a new publication by Routledge, social psychologists Mark Brandt from Tilburg University (School of Social and Behavioral Sciences) and Bastiaan Rutjens from the University of Amsterdam bring together cutting-edge research on the influence of belief systems on our perception of reality and the conflicts that follow from this.

A majority of people believe they are objectively perceiving reality and that others with the same information experience the world in the same way. ‘As a result, people who do not share our views are quickly labelled as irrational, ignorant or worse’, says Rutjens. ‘This can lead to simple misunderstandings, but also to a clash of ideologies and serious conflict. We see this happening increasingly more in the public and political space.’

In their book Belief Systems and the Perception of Reality, Rutjens and Brandt bring together the latest international research on the influence and clash of ideologies. The contributing authors use various perspectives to describe how ideology shapes our views and beliefs, how this process leads to bias and, ultimately, to a conflict over truth and values. The authors specifically focus on the perception of and trust in public institutions and science.

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Publication details

Bastiaan Rutjens & Mark Brandt (ed): Belief Systems and the Perception of Reality, Routledge 2018, 182 p., ISBN 9781315114903