Sociology Index


Belief is the degree to which an individual believes in conventional values, morality, and the legitimacy of law. Belief in Travis Hirschi's work, is aspects of the social bond. Belief is also an important factor when measuring social bonds and is defined as the “acceptance of a conventional values system” (Durkin et al., 1999). The four components of social bond theory are attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief (Hirschi, 1969). Hirschi states that when individuals do not believe that they should conform to social convention, they are more likely to break the law, and that teenagers are not exceptions to social conventions.

“Nothing appears more remote from the current frontiers of neuroscience than the circuits underlying the fixation and mutation of human beliefs” - (Bisiach et al., 1991, p. 1029). Hirschi believes that attachment to others can help prevent deviant behavior. Laws legal or cultural norms, belief systems, traditions all play a determining role in various aspects of our lives. A school's climate often refers to the unwritten beliefs, values, and attitudes of the school, and the interaction between students, teachers and administrators as well as organizational characteristics of the school (Anderson, 1982; Welsh et al., 2001).


"They concluded that school's normative beliefs influence violence and aggressive behavior net of individual personal beliefs." "The final element of the social bond is belief, which refers to the acceptance of the norms and rules of conventional society. This element of the bond focuses on respect for the laws and rules of society and for the people and institutions responsible for upholding those laws and rules.

According to Hirschi's theory, children who believe they should obey laws and rules are less likely to engage in delinquency and other deviant behaviors compared to children who do not believe in the validity and authority of the law and rules of society."

Religiosity and Perceived Future Ascetic Deviance and Delinquency among Mormon Adolescents: Testing the "This-Worldly" Supernatural Sanctions Thesis - Mark A. Harris. Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 73 Issue, Feb. 2003. Previous religiosity-delinquency research primarily explores hellfire belief and aspects of religious social bonding. Both hellfire belief and religious social bonding have been hypothesized to reduce delinquency.Fishbein, Martin, and Icek Ajzen. 1975.

A cognitive account of belief: a tentative road map
Michael H. Connors and Peter W. Halligan. Delusions, considered as false beliefs, have been the subject of study from a wide range of scientific and medical disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. While each of these approaches provides an important perspective on delusions, the nature of belief that underpins the construct remains largely unspecified. Understanding the nature of belief is of particular significance when trying to explain how delusions form. Over the past 40 years, several competing accounts have been proposed to explain delusions (Maher, 1974; Fear et al., 1996; Corlett et al., 2010; Coltheart et al., 2011).