Is there a term referring to the tendency of a person to believe something to be true simply because it is noted down somewhere?

By noted down I mean either written down in real life or on the internet, but also broadcasted on TV or included in any other form of media.

My first thoughts were belief and confirmation bias, but I feel like neither of those terms match what I'm looking for. The closest I got to an answer is this question, Term for the sense that something must be true because many people talk about it, which I found on this site, but what I'm looking for is focused more on a single person, not considering the society as a whole.

To describe it in another way, I'm looking for a term which would describe a person neglecting to check the validity of a fact, not because they trust the source of the fact, but simply because they are tired or their mind is somehow occupied with something else.

  • I'd call this "unconscious reverence for the written word." But of course that's far more than one written word. Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 19:15

8 Answers 8


This sounds like a special case of the argument from authority.


I'd suggest "gullibility"(noun) and "gullible" (adj)

  • gullible (adj) - quick to believe something that is not true.

  • gullibility (noun) - tendency to believe too readily and therefore to be easily deceived.

Now, if the person is too lazy to check the veracity of what he's read or been told by an unreliable source, I would say he is careless or even reckless.


I'm not sure if this captures your intended meaning, but the word "suggestibility" comes to mind.

  • Suggestibility is similar to what I'm looking for, but not it. I've edited the question with a clarification.
    – akukas
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 20:17

faith also unquestioning faith and blind faith

1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
"this restores one's faith in politicians"
synonyms: trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence;

2. strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.



"Gullibility" (answered by @Centaurus) is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action.

It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence.

Source: Wikipedia

EDIT: beaten on the wire by Centaurus for "gullibility".



: belief; acceptance as true or valid. Random-House

accept/take at face value

: to accept something exactly the way it appears to be. I don't know whether I can take her story at face value, but I will assume that she is not lying. The committee took the report at face value and approved the suggested changes McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Something that is taken/accepted at face value is regarded as true or genuine without being questioned or doubted. M-W



The word "scripturalist" comes to mind, but that is specific to religion. You are looking for a word that means something like "secular scripturalist". The word "authoritative" means "backed up by a reliable source" (which is usually a written source these days), but I don't think "authoritativist" is a word, unfortunately. I also thought of "textualist", but that's mostly used specifically in the legal sphere. A "logolator" is someone with an excessive respect for words.

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 12:45

This is a technical term in pragmatics: Presupposition. A proposition A (any statement, essentially) is said to be presupposed by some other proposition B if it is necessary to believe B in order to understand A. This is different from simply asserting some proposition. For instance (see more in Fillmore's "Verbs of Judging"),

  • Bill's brother is visiting him
    presupposes Bill has a brother
    and asserts that his brother is visiting Bill.
  • Bill accused Mary of doing it
    presupposes that "doing it" was wrong,
    and asserts that Bill claimed Mary did it.
  • Bill criticized Mary for doing it
    presupposes that Mary did it,
    and asserts that Bill believes "doing it" was wrong.

Presupposition is one of the various semantic/pragmatic relations between propositions that language makes possible. It's a very complex topic, as this undergraduate handout on the subject of presuppositions and entailments makes clear.

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