Belief and behavior: The role of "folk psychology" in psychiatry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Most psychiatrists assume that belief is a basis for behavior. The validity of this assumption has been challenged by certain philosophers who assign the concept belief to the domain of "folk psychology". These philosophers contend that the discoveries of neuroscience will eliminate the ideas of folk psychology from scientific discourse and that behavior will eventually be accounted for in terms of brain states. In order to examine the relationship of belief and behavior, examples of self-mutilation by normal and abnormal individuals are reviewed. It is concluded that belief is a basis for behavior and that neuroscience, like folk psychology, is valid only within certain limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Belief and behavior: The role of "folk psychology" in psychiatry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this