Here’s an essay that The Edge published by Daniel Kahneman, professor of psychology emeritus at Princeton University, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
“To a good first approximation, people simply don’t change their minds about anything that matters. Let’s start from the main domains where we know people don’t change their minds—politics or religion. When you ask people, why do you believe what you believe? They answer by giving reasons for their beliefs. Subjectively, we experience that reasons are prior to the beliefs that can be deduced from them. But we know that the power of reasons is an illusion. The belief will not change when the reasons are defeated. The causality is reversed. People believe the reasons because they believe in the conclusion. In politics and in religion, the main driver is social. We believe what the people we love and trust believe. This is not a conscious decision to conform by hiding one’s true beliefs. It’s the truth. This is how we believe. Indeed, beliefs persevere even without any social pressure.”