Deliberation and Social Polarization

30 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2006

See all articles by Catherine Hafer

Catherine Hafer

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Dimitri Landa

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Date Written: January 25, 2006

Abstract

We develop a theory of social polarization induced by "deliberation as self-discovery." In such deliberation, intrinsically persuasive arguments activate the "latent" reasons of the corresponding listeners, whose beliefs about the best alternative change only in response to arguments they find persuasive. In equilibrium, agents sort into ideologically biased groups with speakers whose ideological bias reinforces their own. These choices, in turn, give rise to group polarization - a widely cited phenomenon whereby deliberation in biased groups leads individuals to adopt post-deliberative positions more extreme than their prior bias.

Keywords: deliberation, ideological polarization, groups

JEL Classification: D70, D82

Suggested Citation

Hafer, Catherine and Landa, Dimitri, Deliberation and Social Polarization (January 25, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=887634 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.887634

Catherine Hafer (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

Dimitri Landa

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

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