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Bayesian Belief Polarization

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journal contribution
posted on 2009-12-01, 00:00 authored by Alan Jern, Kai-Min Chang, Charles KempCharles Kemp

Empirical studies have documented cases of belief polarization, where two people with opposing prior beliefs both strengthen their beliefs after observing the same evidence. Belief polarization is frequently offered as evidence of human irrationality, but we demonstrate that this phenomenon is consistent with a fully Bayesian approach to belief revision. Simulation results indicate that belief polarization is not only possible but relatively common within the set of Bayesian models that we consider


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