PhilSci Archive

Scientific Polarization

O'Connor, Cailin and Weatherall, James Owen (2017) Scientific Polarization. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.

polarization.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (442kB) | Preview


Contemporary societies are often "polarized", in the sense that sub-groups within these societies hold stably opposing beliefs, even when there is a fact of the matter. Extant models of polarization do not capture the idea that some beliefs are true and others false. Here we present a model, based on the network epistemology framework of Bala and Goyal ["Learning from neighbors", \textit{Rev. Econ. Stud.} \textbf{65}(3), 784-811 (1998)], in which polarization emerges even though agents gather evidence about their beliefs, and true belief yields a pay-off advantage. The key mechanism that generates polarization involves treating evidence generated by other agents as uncertain when their beliefs are relatively different from one's own.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Weatherall, James Owenweatherj@uci.edu0000-0003-1461-7821
Keywords: Polarization, social networks, epistemic networks, trust
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science and Society
Depositing User: James Owen Weatherall
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2018 03:02
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 03:02
Item ID: 15479
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science and Society
Date: 2017

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item