• it refers to how hard it is to change a belief, once someone has it. religion for example. someone who is a devout christian would be considered cognitively conservative. present them all the evidence you want, their mind will continue to back up the things they already believe. if you told someone who was not devout in their beliefs the same thing, they may start to see the merit in that, and it may eventually change their beliefs. that type of a person would not be cognitively conservative. so basically, it means "set in your ways"

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