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Independent opinions? On the causal foundations of belief formation and jury theorems

Dietrich, Franz and Spiekermann, Kai (2013) Independent opinions? On the causal foundations of belief formation and jury theorems. Mind, 122 (487). pp. 655-685. ISSN 0026-4423

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Identification Number: 10.1093/mind/fzt074

Abstract

It is often claimed that opinions are more likely to be correct if they are held independently by many individuals. But what does it mean to hold independent opinions? To clarify this condition, we distinguish four notions of probabilistic opinion independence. Which notion applies depends on environmental factors such as commonly perceived evidence. More formally, it depends on the causal network that determines how people interact and form their opinions. In a general theorem, we identify conditions on this network that guarantee the four notions of opinion independence. Our results have implications for ‘wisdom of crowds’ arguments, as we illustrate with old and new jury theorems.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://mind.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 12 May 2014 10:46
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 01:46
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/56718

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