South African psychologists' judgments of widely held beliefs about psychological phenomena

Kagee A. (2009)


Lay understandings of human cognition, affect, and behaviour often diverge from those informed by the findings of scientific investigations. In the present study I examined South African psychologists' judgments about the factual correctness of statements of psychological phenomena that have been demonstrated to be incorrect by empirical research. Forty-five psychologists responded to a mail survey and completed a questionnaire that required them to decide on the validity of a list of empirically untrue statements. The results show that a large proportion of psychologists indicated that they believed many incorrect statements to be probably or definitely true. These results are discussed with reference to the curricula of South African psychology training courses and the influence of popular culture on beliefs about human behaviour. © Psychological Society of South Africa.

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