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Scientific disagreements and the diagnosticity of evidence: how too much data may lead to polarization

Michelini, Matteo and Javier, Osorio and Houkes, Wybo and Šešelja, Dunja and Straßer, Christian (2023) Scientific disagreements and the diagnosticity of evidence: how too much data may lead to polarization. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Scientific disagreements sometimes persist even if scientists fully share results of their research. In this paper we develop an agent-based model to study the impact of diverging diagnostic values scientists may assign to the evidence, given their different background assumptions, on the emergence of polarization in the scientific community. Scientists are represented as Bayesian updaters for whom the diagnosticity of evidence is given by the Bayes factor. Our results suggest that an initial disagreement on the diagnostic value of evidence
can, but does not necessarily, lead to polarization, depending on the sample size of the performed studies and the confidence interval within which scientists share their opinions. In particular, the more data scientists share,the more likely it is that the community will end up polarized.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Michelini, Matteom.michelini@tue.nl
Javier, Osorio
Houkes, Wybow.n.houkes@tue.nl
Šešelja, Dunjadunja.seselja@rub.de0000-0001-5679-5787
Straßer, Christianchristian.strasser@rub.de0000-0002-4117-7019
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in JASSS
Keywords: Diagnostic value of evidence, Scientific disagreement, Polarization
Subjects: General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Depositing User: Dr. Dunja Šešelja
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2023 12:25
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2023 12:25
Item ID: 22017
Subjects: General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Date: 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22017

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