Zerk’s Belief Perseverance by Carmen Mowrey

If one chooses to believe in something despite evidence that disproves their belief, this is known as belief perseverance. Once someone has been faced with a phenomenon and asked to explain why it is true, they tend to believe their own rationale over any contradictory evidence that is introduced to them after-the-fact. In the book it uses an experiment to illustrate this principle where participants are supposed to explain whether individuals who take risks will become a successful/unsuccessful firefighter. Whichever side they took, evidence was presented to discredit their explanations, however the participants still held to their self-generated explanations.

This clip is from the movie Sasquatch Gang, where Zerk illustrates his belief perseverance in a slightly humorous scenario.

As one can see, despite the apparent evidence that Zerk cannot run on water because he failed the first time he still holds to his belief illustrated by his line “The boat wasn’t even going fast enough.” Although he did not choose to look up scientific articles to illustrate the physics of the possibility that a man could run on water, the fact that he tried and failed should have been an indicator that man cannot run on water. However, Zerk still chooses to hold to his belief and blame the boat’s speed that it was not going fast enough.

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: