How do we integrate evidence from ourselves and our social groups?

Adults and children are both excellent learners, but they often approach problems in different ways. Adults often prefer to exploit what they already know and be less receptive to radical changes, whereas children seem to be more flexible and open to changing their beliefs. This may also hold when beliefs are highly socially valued.


How are our beliefs motivated by group membership and the need to belong?

We have a powerful need to belong that drives many of our prosocial behaviours. Being ostracized from a social group threatens this, and rejection may prompt us to seek acceptance wherever it is offered. This could serve as a powerful motivation for us to change our behaviours, beliefs, desires, and even identities, leading to phenomena such as belief polarization and ideological radicalization.


Note: Asterisks represent equal contribution between authors. Italics represent undergraduate mentee at time of research.

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