The Psychology of BeliefwithJames E. Alcock

Books Mentioned In This Interview

james alcock science and supernature

James E. Alcock, PhD, is professor emeritus of psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a fellow and member of the executive council of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is author of Parapsychology: Science or Magic, Science and Supernature: A Critical Appraisal of Parapsychology, and Belief: What It Means To Believe and Why Our Convictions Are So Compelling. He is also coauthor of An Introduction to Social Psychology.

Here he points out that belief systems can and do result in both murders and suicides. We may pay a very high price for our beliefs; so making sure that they accurately reflect factual circumstances can be a matter of life and death. We rarely have the opportunity to conduct original research to support any of our beliefs. So, generally, we form our belief systems based on trust of various sources. Furthermore, we are all vulnerable to holding ungrounded and irrational beliefs. Periodically, it is very useful to question our beliefs.

(Recorded on December 17, 2018)

For a complete, updated alphabetical list of our guests with links to all of our videos, and all guests’ websites, see

Published on December 22, 2018


We do not yet have transcripts available for this interview.

If you are be interested in helping us transcribe into any language, including English, please email