Motivational pessimism and motivated cognition

Synthese 203 (4):1-18 (2024)
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I introduce and discuss an underappreciated form of motivated cognition: motivational pessimism, which involves the biasing of beliefs for the sake of self-motivation. I illustrate how motivational pessimism avoids explanatory issues that plague other (putative) forms of motivated cognition and discuss distinctions within the category, related to awareness, aetiology, and proximal goals.

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Stephen Gadsby
University of Antwerp


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