What does common stake in the sentence below mean?
Does it mean a common role?

Such overgeneralized beliefs will also be resistant to change, because individuals develop a common stake in their perpetuation.

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    Apr 17, 2014 at 13:52

4 Answers 4


Stake means an interest, an investment.

In a project, the stakeholders are the people that invest in the project and stand to make a profit by its completion.

In gambling, "the stakes" refers to the money that the players have put up to back their bets (their "investment").

In this sentence, the writer indicates that overgeneralised beliefs tend to give individuals a reason to defend them (to resist change), because those individuals will all have to admit they were wrong if the belief is changed. Since "we" like to be right about things, we have a "stake" in defending those beliefs as true and to resist changes in those beliefs.


stake means you are a stakeholder, somebody with a stake in it, a stake that can be lost

overgeneralized beliefs are so overgeneralized that it is easy to find evidence for them, because anything could fit

so a common theme is to actually find the evidence and start believing even more strongly in it

the evidence each individual gathers is their work they have put into verifying this common belief and the work they have put in they don't want to have done for nothing

so they are resistant to changing their beliefs because they would be loosing something, their stake, their work and effort they have put into believing, and also they will be loosing their belief and will have to find another one to replace it which also involves work


You could have googled 'stake' :)

Oxford has the following as one of the definitions for stake:

A share or interest in a business, situation, or system

'Stake' in your sentence isn't used to imply a business venture, but it is along the lines of the same definition.
When people perpetuate a certain belief, they have a stake in the popularity of the belief. In other words, they are one of the reasons it's popular. As you only invest in a share if you're confident of it turning out good for you, the same way people would only perpetuate a belief if they truly think it's true. In some way, they've invested in the belief.


I think that stake refers more to risk, like in the expression:

what is at stake?, meaning at risk.

So the common stake refers to the common risk that individuals develop in their perception.


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