IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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.

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://econrsa.org/home/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=125&Itemid=67
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 104.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:104
Contact details of provider: Postal: Newlands on Main, F0301 3rd Floor Mariendahl House, cnr Campground and Main Rds, Claremont, 7700 Cape Town
Phone: 021 671-3980
Fax: +27 21 671 3912
Web page: http://www.econrsa.org/

More information through EDIRC

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. Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2011. "Dynamic choice under ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), September.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
  4. Lindqvist, Erik & Östling, Robert, 2006. "Political Polarization and the Size of Government," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 628, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 02 Jul 2007.
  5. Tonks, Ian, 1983. "Bayesian Learning and the Optimal Investment Decision of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369a), pages 87-98, Supplemen.
  6. Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon & Kelsey, David, 2007. "Updating Choquet beliefs," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(7-8), pages 888-899, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Sjostrom, T. & Krishna, V., 1995. "On the Convergence of Ficticious Play," Papers 04-95-07, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  11. Gilboa Itzhak & Schmeidler David, 1993. "Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 33-49, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Sarin, Rakesh & Wakker, Peter P, 1998. "Revealed Likelihood and Knightian Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 223-50, July-Aug..
  14. 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.
  15. Fernández, Raquel & Levy, Gilat, 2008. "Diversity and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 925-943, June.
  16. 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.
  17. Chateauneuf, Alain & Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon, 2007. "Choice under uncertainty with the best and worst in mind: Neo-additive capacities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 538-567, November.
  18. Morris, Stephen, 1994. "Trade with Heterogeneous Prior Beliefs and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1327-47, November.
  19. Kurz, Mordecai, 1994. "On the Structure and Diversity of Rational Beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(6), pages 877-900, October.
  20. Daron Acemoglu & Victor Chernozhukov & Muhamet Yildiz, 2007. "Learning and Disagreement in an Uncertain World," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 48, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  21. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "Consistency and Cautious Fictitious Play," Levine's Working Paper Archive 470, David K. Levine.
  22. Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model Of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82, February.
  23. 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.
  24. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "Subjective Expectations and Asset-Return Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1102-1130, September.
  25. Viscusi, W. Kip, 1985. "A Bayesian perspective on biases in risk perception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 59-62.
  26. Drew Fudenberg & David Kreps, 2010. "Learning Mixed Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 415, David K. Levine.
  27. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  28. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1998. "Asset Pricing with Distorted Beliefs: Are Equity Returns Too Good To Be True?," NBER Working Papers 6354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Abel, Andrew B., 2002. "An exploration of the effects of pessimism and doubt on asset returns," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1075-1092, July.
  30. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2001. "Recursive Multiple-Priors," RCER Working Papers 485, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  31. Massimo Marinacci, 2002. "Learning from ambiguous urns," Statistical Papers, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 143-151, January.
  32. Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2002. "Learning Under Ambiguity," RCER Working Papers 497, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER), revised Mar 2005.
  33. Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 1999. "E-Capacities and the Ellsberg Paradox," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 107-138, April.
  34. Milgrom, Paul & Stokey, Nancy, 1982. "Information, trade and common knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 17-27, February.
  35. Neeman, Zvika, 1996. "Approximating Agreeing to Disagree Results with Commonp-Beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 162-164, January.
  36. Epstein, Larry G, 1999. "A Definition of Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 579-608, July.
  37. 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.
  38. Kurz, Mordecai, 1996. "Rational Beliefs and Endogenous Uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 383-97, October.
  39. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  40. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  41. Cesaltina Pacheco Pires, 2002. "A Rule For Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 137-152, September.
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:rza:wpaper:104. 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: (Yoemna Mosaval)

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.