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When do populations polarize? An explanation

Jean-Pierre Benoît and Juan Dubra ()

No 1801, Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers from Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo.

Abstract: Numerous experiments demonstrate attitude polarization. For instance, Lord, Ross & Lepper presented subjects with the same mixed evidence on the deterrent effect of the death penalty. Both believers and skeptics of its deterrent effect became more convinced of their views; that is, the population polarized. However, not all experiments find this attitude polarization. We propose a theory of rational updating that accounts for both the positive and negative experimental findings. This is in contrast to existing theories, which predict either too much or too little polarization

Keywords: Attitude Polarization; Confirmation Bias; Bayesian Decision Making (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D11 D12 D81 D82 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-ltv
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