belief: Whatever an individual is willing to accept without direct verification by experience or without the support of evidence, resulting in assumption which is taken as a basis for action or non-action.  

"Belief drives behavior, but often belief is not based on experience and so does not reach or reflect the intimately lived dimension of human existence. Indeed, the very nature of belief precludes the necessity of experience. Belief does not merely dispense with the evidence of experience, it can go further and deny the evidence of experience. And it often does. Therein lies the power of belief. Belief is motivation by reliance on an assigned version of reality or an assigned version of what might be imagined. Ultimately, the problem introduced by belief is not a matter of believing versus non-believing, because annulment of the will to believe is not possible. The true conflict here is between believing and learning. "The unexamined belief is not worth holding." True enough, but the examined belief may not be worth holding, either. A great many beliefs, once they are examined, may prove to be worthless as indicators of truth or guides to experience, although they may serve to define identity and confer a sense of belonging." 

Belief  - 'mental acceptance of a proposition, statement, or fact, as true, on the ground of apparent authority, which does not have to be based on actual fact. ”  Assent to a proposition or affirmation, or the acceptance of a fact, opinion, or assertion as real or true, without immediate personal knowledge; reliance upon word or testimony; partial or full assurance without positive knowledge or absolute certainty; persuasion; conviction; confidence; as, belief of a witness; the belief of our senses a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof [syn: dogma, tenet]

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe — I believe what I believe is right." —George W. Bush, in Rome, July 22, 2001

"The Bible tells us to 'be like God', and then on page after page it describes God as a mass murderer. This may be the single most important key to the political behavior of Western Civilization." ---       - Robert Anton Wilson

credibility Trust conferred on the source of a belief, rather than in the substance of the belief itself.

aligned belief: chosen after careful consideration of options or alternatives.
assigned belief A belief acquired from one’s familial, cultural and religious background and accepted like a task or role assigned to the believer, rather than chosen on a voluntary basis.
blind belief: refuses to be questioned or examined. Contrast to open belief.
compound belief: combines various modes of belief in the same syndrome.
conflicted belief: contains contradictory and opposing elements that confuse the believer.
conflictual belief: compels the believer into antagonism toward others.
consensual belief: held by consent rather than chosen with deliberation. We consent to believe what others believe. Here the primary appeal of the belief may consist in the fact that many others hold it. The mainstream religions of the world depend on consensus rather than upon invididual deliberation and choice. To consent to believe something is not to choose to believe it, rather the join company with those who believe it. The primary accent of consensual belief is inclusion in a group.
corporate belief: belongs to a program or agenda and serves the ends proposed in that program or agenda.
default belief: held due to lack of considering any alternatives.
deliberated belief: chosen by a process of considering and evaluating options. Synonymous with aligned belief.

dereasoning: The process separating the reasons and conditions for adopting a belief from its truth value.
dereasoned belief: deprived of its original properties by the process of dereasoning, i.e., isolating the conditions and reasons for holding a belief and thus reducing it to its inherent truth value, if it has any.
dissenting belief: deliberately opposed to conventional and established beliefs.
doctrinal belief: based on predefined dogmas or doctrines. Contrast to intuitive belief.
ethical belief: relates to a way of behaving or prescribes a code of behavior.
extremist belief: enacted in uncompromising or fanatical behavior. Often associated with violence, if not directly used as a justification for violence.
fundamentalist belief: received from a tradition and not allowed to be altered or questioned.
heretic belief: chosen in direct opposition to a widely accepted belief.
humanist belief: based on assumptions that assume human intelligence as the best author of convictions, without need of attributing beliefs and rules for living to a superhuman agency.
ideological belief
: expressed in ideological form, that is, in a systematic body of abstractions or formal ideas.
imperative belief: stated in a flat non-narrative form.
latent belief: held but not enacted.
ludic belief: able to be modified by playing with it.

Definition of Cognitive Distortions:
(See also Taboos in the Paradigm areas)

Cognitive distortions are logical, but they are not rational. They can create real difficulty with your thinking. See if you are doing any of the ten common distortions that people use. Rate yourself from one to ten with one being low and ten being high. Ask yourself if you can stop using the distortions and think in a different way.

ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see your self as a total failure.

OVERGENERALIZATION: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.

DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.

MIND READING: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don't bother to check this out

THE FORTUNETELLER ERROR: you can anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.

MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else's achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or other fellow's imperfections). This is also called the binocular trick."

EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it, therefore it must be true."

SHOULD STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with should and shouldn't, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. "Musts" and "oughts" are also offenders. The emotional consequences are guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself. "I'm a loser." When someone else's behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him" "He's a Goddamn louse." Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

PERSONALIZATION: You see your self as the cause of some negative external event, which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.