Deliberation and Social Polarization

Catherine Hafer, Dimitri Landa
2006 Social Science Research Network  
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
more » ... henomenon whereby deliberation in biased groups leads individuals to adopt post-deliberative positions more extreme than their prior bias.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.887634 fatcat:dcesvca7fvc5hlsspkwppbicve