Imagine a person has some false beliefs, which are also reflected then in his actions:

  • I don't want to interact with people because I don't trust them and 90% of time they will betray me
  • If I form close relationship with people then I will not be able to move to different country because I will miss them
  • ....

We can bring similar beliefs. I am interested which direction in psychology studies this situation when person has such beliefs? And tries to correct them

  • $\begingroup$ FYI, one popular model of knowledge defines knowledge as "justified true belief", and epistemology is the field in philosophy to study knowledge. I suppose in epistemology one can find studies about belief system as well $\endgroup$ – Ooker Jan 18 at 11:46

These are typically called cognitive distortions and are a mainstay of CBT, but are equally likely to be addressed by any cognitive psychotherapist. This is usually done by building skills to identify and challenge such thoughts.

In the much older (and largely outdated) school of psychoanalysis, these are typically referred to as a defense mechanism called rationalizations.

In contrast, behavioral therapies are less likely to directly address such thoughts. With this paradigm, distortions typically subside once the underlying behavior pattern is addressed (eg, by improving social skills, and actually making friends).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks but on rationalization Wiki says "justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation" - In examples above what if the person really believes in those beliefs, hence is is not trying to avoid the true explanation, he just doesn't see it, is it still rationalization then? Thanks $\endgroup$ – user27650 Jan 13 at 8:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Indeed it is. People who rationalize do in fact really believe their rationalizations. Therapists then work to reveal the underlying explanation (eg, anxiety) to them. You may also be interested in Can rationalization be objectively recognized? $\endgroup$ – Arnon Weinberg Jan 13 at 17:52

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