Explanations versus applications: the explanatory power of valuable beliefs.

@article{Preston2005ExplanationsVA,
  title={Explanations versus applications: the explanatory power of valuable beliefs.},
  author={Jesse Preston and Nicholas Epley},
  journal={Psychological science},
  year={2005},
  volume={16 10},
  pages={826-32}
}
People hold beliefs that vary not only in their perceived truth, but also in their value to the believer--their meaning, relevance, and importance. We argue that a belief's value is determined, at least in part, by its explanatory power. Highly valuable beliefs are those that can uniquely explain and organize a diverse set of observations. Less valuable beliefs, in contrast, are those that can be explained by other observations, or that explain and organize few observations. The results of… CONTINUE READING
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