Dietrich, Franz and Spiekermann, Kai (2012): Independent opinions? on the causal foundations of belief formation and jury theorems.
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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, 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.
Item Type:  MPRA Paper 

Original Title:  Independent opinions? on the causal foundations of belief formation and jury theorems 
Language:  English 
Keywords:  Condorcet Jury Theorem, dependence between voters, probabilistic dependence, causal dependence 
Subjects:  D  Microeconomics > D7  Analysis of Collective DecisionMaking C  Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C0  General D  Microeconomics > D8  Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty 
Item ID:  40137 
Depositing User:  Franz Dietrich 
Date Deposited:  18 Jul 2012 20:54 
Last Modified:  21 Sep 2017 23:44 
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URI:  https://mpra.ub.unimuenchen.de/id/eprint/40137 
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