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First-person authority refers to the claim that we have direct access to all our thought processes. Any account we have of the working of our own high-level mental processes is supposedly more reliable than what others formulate.

Research by social psychologists has cast doubt on the accuracy of first-person authority. It seems that people are unaware of the effect of important stimuli on their thought processes. They also seem unaware of important changes that may have occurred in their beliefs. It seems our accounts of our thought processes are formed to a great degree by a priori causal theories.

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