Independent opinions? on the causal foundations of belief formation and jury theorems
AbstractIt 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, or, more formally, on the causal network in which people interact and form their opinions. In a general theorem, we identify conditions on this network that guarantee opinion independence in each sense. Our results have implications for `wisdom of crowds' arguments, as we illustrate by providing old and new jury theorems.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 40137.
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision: Oct 2010
Condorcet Jury Theorem; dependence between voters; probabilistic dependence; causal dependence;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
- C0 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-07-29 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-NET-2012-07-29 (Network Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dietrich, Franz & Spiekermann, Kai, 2013.
"Epistemic Democracy With Defensible Premises,"
Economics and Philosophy,
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- Dietrich Franz & Spiekermann Kai, 2010. "Epistemic Democracy with Defensible Premises," Research Memorandum 066, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
- Dietrich, Franz & Spiekermann, Kai, 2010. "Epistemic democracy with defensible premises," MPRA Paper 40135, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2012.
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2002-W23, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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