What is motivated reasoning in psychology?

  • This refers to human reasoning that is influenced by emotional attachment to underlying biased motives.
  • People are generally found to process any new information that they come across in light of their prior beliefs.
  • They do not change long-held beliefs to which they are emotionally attached even in the face of new information that clearly refutes such beliefs.
  • This is because they have already made a huge emotional investment in a belief and changing it would cause them pain.
  • Motivated reasoning can cause people to hold onto erroneous views despite the presence of evidence to the contrary.


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