Belief-tribe signalling (or just tribal signalling) is the practice of signalling one's membership in a belief tribe, typically one or more of the following methods:
- firmly proclaiming one's fixed beliefs to others (verbal signalling)
- employing particular words or phrasings common only within the tribe (lexical signalling)
- Example: creationists often talk about "evidences" instead of "evidence"
- performing various tribal customs – wearing certain clothing, performing rituals, etc.
- discriminating against others whose beliefs appear to conflict with those of one's tribe
It seems to be the case that people get into a certain mindset where they confuse loyalty to people with loyalty to ideas – they come to believe that if the group believes something, then believing something different is somehow a betrayal of the group. Every discussion becomes an opportunity to proselytize – to defend and spread the belief – rather than a search for truth. Every debate is competitive rather than truth-seeking.