Testimony - An Exploration of Our Trust in Others

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McLarens, Emma Theresa




Whether it's in-person, over email, text or call, people constantly receive information from others. Epistemology views such information, referred to as testimony, as a crucial source of rational belief and knowledge. However, reductionists and anti-reductionists disagree on whether it is sufficient as a stand-alone source. This thesis presents three studies examining possible factors that influence our trust in the words of others. Participants were asked to rate how likely they thought the content of various reports were. Ratings differed depending on the type of information being reported, and the source of the report. There also appear to be differences associated with the gender of the source, but further testing should be done to get a better understanding of this result. Finally, participant level of education had no effect on ratings. Overall, the results of this thesis provide support for both the anti-reductionist and reductionist positions.


Psychology - Social
Psychology - Cognitive




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Cognitive Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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