IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

On attitude polarization under Bayesian learning with non-additive beliefs

  • Alexander Zimper

    ()

  • Alexander Ludwig

    ()

Ample psychological evidence suggests that people’s learning behavior is often prone to a "myside bias" or "irrational belief persistence" in contrast to learning behavior exclusively based on objective data. In the context of Bayesian learning such a bias may result in diverging posterior beliefs and attitude polarization even if agents receive identical information. Such patterns cannot be explained by the standard model of rational Bayesian learning that implies convergent beliefs. As our key contribution, we therefore develop formal models of Bayesian learning with psychological bias as alternatives to rational Bayesian learning. We derive conditions under which beliefs may diverge in the learning process despite the fact that all agents observe the same - arbitrarily large - sample, which is drawn from an "objective" i.i.d. process. Furthermore, one of our learning scenarios results in attitude polarization even in the case of common priors. Key to our approach is the assumption of ambiguous beliefs that are formalized as non-additive probability measures arising in Choquet expected utility theory. As a specific feature of our approach, our models of Bayesian learning with psychological bias reduce to rational Bayesian learning in the absence of ambiguity.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-009-9074-0
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 39 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 181-212

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:39:y:2009:i:2:p:181-212
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100299

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Kurz, Mordecai, 1996. "Rational Beliefs and Endogenous Uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(3), pages 383-97, October.
  2. Vijay Krishna & T. Sjostrom, 2010. "On the Convergence of Fictitious Play," Levine's Working Paper Archive 417, David K. Levine.
  3. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Chateauneuf, Alain & Eichberger, Jürgen & Grant, Simon, 2003. "Choice under Uncertainty with the Best and Worst in Mind: Neo-additive Capacities," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-10, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
  6. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  7. Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 1999. "E-Capacities and the Ellsberg Paradox," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 107-138, April.
  8. Matthew Rabin & Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82.
  9. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "An Exploration of the Effects of Pessimism and Doubt on Asset Returns," NBER Working Papers 8132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lindqvist, Erik & Östling, Robert, 2008. "Political Polarization and the Size of Government," Working Paper Series 749, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. Neeman, Zvika, 1996. "Approximating Agreeing to Disagree Results with Commonp-Beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 162-164, January.
  12. Kandel, Eugene & Pearson, Neil D, 1995. "Differential Interpretation of Public Signals and Trade in Speculative Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 831-72, August.
  13. Epstein, Larry G. & Schneider, Martin, 2003. "Recursive multiple-priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 1-31, November.
  14. Jurgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey, 2006. "Updating Choquet Beliefs," Discussion Papers 0607, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  15. Fernández, Raquel & Levy, Gilat, 2008. "Diversity and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 925-943, June.
  16. Cesaltina Pacheco Pires, 2002. "A Rule For Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 137-152, September.
  17. Viscusi, W. Kip, 1985. "A Bayesian perspective on biases in risk perception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 59-62.
  18. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  19. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-56, December.
  20. Gilboa Itzhak & Schmeidler David, 1993. "Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 33-49, February.
  21. Pok-sang Lam & Stephen G. Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark, 2000. "Asset Pricing with Distorted Beliefs: Are Equity Returns Too Good to Be True?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 787-805, September.
  22. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "Subjective Expectations and Asset-Return Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1102-1130, September.
  23. Daron Acemoglu & Victor Chernozhukov & Muhamet Yildiz, 2007. "Learning and Disagreement in an Uncertain World," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 48, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  24. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  25. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2008. "A Parsimonious Choquet Model of Subjective Life Expectancy," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-20, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2008.
  26. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Learning Under Ambiguity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1275-1303.
  27. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
  28. Wakker, Peter P, 2001. "Testing and Characterizing Properties of Nonadditive Measures through Violations of the Sure-Thing Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1039-59, July.
  29. Tonks, Ian, 1981. "Bayesian Learning and the Optimal Investment Decision of the Firm," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 192, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  30. Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2011. "Dynamic choice under ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), September.
  31. Morris, Stephen, 1994. "Trade with Heterogeneous Prior Beliefs and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1327-47, November.
  32. Paul Milgrom & Nancy L.Stokey, 1979. "Information, Trade, and Common Knowledge," Discussion Papers 377R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  33. Marinacci, Massimo, 1999. "Limit Laws for Non-additive Probabilities and Their Frequentist Interpretation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 145-195, February.
  34. Drew Fudenberg & David Kreps, 2010. "Learning Mixed Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 415, David K. Levine.
  35. Alon Brav & J.B. Heaton, 2002. "Competing Theories of Financial Anomalies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 575-606, March.
  36. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1995. "Consistency and Cautious Fictitious Play," Scholarly Articles 3198694, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  37. Sarin, R. & Wakker, P.P., 1996. "Revealed likelihood and knightian uncertainty," Discussion Paper 1996-59, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  38. Kurz, Mordecai, 1994. "On the Structure and Diversity of Rational Beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(6), pages 877-900, October.
  39. Larry G. Epstein, 1999. "A Definition of Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 579-608.
  40. Zimper, Alexander, 2009. "Half empty, half full and why we can agree to disagree forever," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 283-299, August.
  41. Massimo Marinacci, 2002. "Learning from ambiguous urns," Statistical Papers, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 143-151, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:39:y:2009:i:2:p:181-212. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.