Sep 16Liked by Kevin Dorst

hi Kevin, have you seen this article?


I feel that both the articles you critique and your own work ignore the issue of self-selection. Maybe colleges turn young adults into liberals. Maybe liberals self-select to go to college...

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Thanks Rafal! A lot of what you say seems right to me—I think it's one of the biggest missing parts of standard Bayesian models that they are in a sense 'passive' when it comes to processing information: whatever information comes in, you condition on it; the only ways prior beliefs or attitudes can affect it is by affecting your prior conditional probabilities. A lot of what I like about the generalizations of Bayesian models I tend to use (eg in the linked paper on polarization) is that they allow more flexibility here, including that people can have some control over how they process information and therefore how they (on average) react to it. For example, the model in section of that paper (on whether to scrutinize an argument, or not) captures some of what you mention wrt whether people are in an adversarial or open-minded frame of mind. I'm hoping to explore variations and elaborations of it in future work!

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