A delusion is a false belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 held with absolute conviction despite superior evidence. Unlike hallucination
A hallucination, in the broadest sense of the word, is a perception in the absence of a stimulus. In a stricter sense, hallucinations are defined as perceptions in a conscious and awake state in the absence of external stimuli which have qualities of real perception, in that they are vivid,...

s, delusions are always pathological
Psychopathology is the study of mental illness, mental distress, and abnormal/maladaptive behavior. The term is most commonly used within psychiatry where pathology refers to disease processes...

 (the result of an illness
Illness is a state of poor health. Illness is sometimes considered another word for disease. Others maintain that fine distinctions exist...

 or illness process). As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

, poor memory
In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing memory....

, illusion
An illusion is a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. While illusions distort reality, they are generally shared by most people....

, or other effects of perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...


Delusions typically occur in the context of neurological or mental illness
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

, although they are not tied to any particular disease and have been found to occur in the context of many pathological states (both physical and mental).

Delusions, like dreams, are dispelled by our awaking to the stern realities of life.

A. R. C. Dallas

No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.

Christian Nestell Bovee

We are always living under some delusion, and instead of taking things as they are, and making the best of them, we follow an ignis fatuus, and lose, in its pursuit, the joy we might attain.

James Ellis Category:Belief