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English (Year 12) - Course Concepts

Ben Whitten

What are beliefs? How are beliefs different from values and attitudes?

Beliefs as a course concept can often be confused with values and attitudes, and while intrinsically linked, a belief differs in some capacity. Beliefs reflect an individual’s acceptance of something (an ideology, philosophy etc.) as being real; the belief is true and exists. Beliefs are often formed without evidence. Beliefs are rooted in different sources, including:

  • The individual’s experiences

  • Acceptance of cultural and societal beliefs (e.g., religious views)

  • The acceptance of other individual’s thoughts (e.g., in education)

Every individual makes judgements and seeks a reason/s to adopt these potential beliefs as part of their identity. A group of beliefs forms what is termed a “belief system.” When an individual accepts a belief as being true and actively defends it, it is said to form part of their belief system.

Let’s take a look at analysing the presentation of beliefs in a text.

This is an extract from an open letter by Ron Curry, Chief Executive Officer of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, to Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts. It was published on an industry website in May 2017. 

The Australian video game development industry has huge potential as a weightless and clean export. It’s an intensively creative industry but also highly innovative and technical, and usually at the cutting edge of technology. 

In addition, games have the capacity to solve high value problems. Australia has the potential to take an international lead in the emerging industry of serious games – games intended for non-entertainment purposes. These are games that are used to assist in dementia care, games that enable stroke patients to engage in rehabilitation exercises, games designed to promote road safety or deliver positive mental health outcomes for our youth. New technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, will only increase the potential applications for serious games.

The author’s beliefs presented in this short extract from his open letter reflects his ideas that video games have the capacity to provide great benefit. As previously mentioned, beliefs are rooted in personal experience. It can be argued that the author has had positive experiences with video games in terms of solving problems; being an aid in dementia care, stroke patient rehabilitation, positive youth mental health outcomes etc.

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