Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true. Dispositional and occurrent belief concerns the contextual activation of the belief into thoughts (reactive of propositions) or ideas (based on the belief’s premise).
The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy.
Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge and belief. The primary problem in epistemology is to understand exactly what is needed in order for us to have true knowledge. In a notion derived from Plato‘s dialogue Theaetetus, philosophy has traditionally defined knowledge as “justified true belief“. The relationship between belief and knowledge is that a belief is knowledge if the belief is true, and if the believer has a justification (reasonable and necessarily plausible assertions/evidence/guidance) for believing it is true.
A false belief is not considered to be knowledge, even if it is sincere. A sincere believer in the flat earth theory does not know that the Earth is flat. Later epistemologists, for instance Gettier (1963) and Goldman (1967), have questioned the “justified true belief” definition.
Outside the halls of the academy a broader stereotype is often applied to paranormal believers—people who believe in or have experienced the paranormal are “different.” People who do not believe in the paranormal are perceived to be normal; those who believe in paranormal topics are considered weird, unconventional, strange, or deviant.
There is a big problem with this simplistic assessment—believing in something paranormal has become the norm in our society. When asked if they believe in the reality of nine different paranormal subjects including telekinesis, fortune-telling, astrology, communication with the dead, haunted houses, ghosts, Atlantis, UFOs and monsters, over two-thirds of Americans (68%) believe in at least one. In a strictly numerical sense, people who do not believe in anything paranormal are now the “odd men out” in American society. Less than a third of Americans (32%) are dismissive of all nine subjects.4