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Overbelief (also written as "over-belief") is a philosophical term[1] for a belief adopted that requires more evidence than one presently has. Generally, acts of overbelief are justified on emotional need or faith, rather than evidence. It contrasts with the less-often debated concept, underbelief (or "under-belief"). Someone who fails to adopt a belief that they clearly have evidence for is committing underbelief. This idea originates from the works of William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience[2] and refers to the conceptual framework that individuals have.

See also


  1. "Overbelief." Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed June 3, 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overbelief.
  2. The Varieties of Religious Experience online text