Belief Systems and Mental Sets

A belief system is a network of proposition comprised of what we consider to be true or factual about reality. Each of us has a vast network of belief systems that act as a scaffold to help us make sense of the world around us. As we encounter new data we use this network to perceive, interpret, analyze, and organize this data.

Our belief systems also act as filters to eliminate data that does not correlate with our existing constructs. In this sense, our beliefs can limit thinking and learning (Harman and Rheingold, 1984). Below are described three different levels of belief systems, each successively harder to access and more resistant to change (Sisk and Torrance, 2001). (Johnson, 2011).

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