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On the rationality of pluralistic ignorance

Bjerring, Jens Christian; Hansen, Jens Ulrik LU and Pedersen, Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding (2014) In Synthese 191(11). p.2445-2470
Abstract
Pluralistic ignorance is a socio-psychological phenomenon that involves a systematic discrepancy between people’s private beliefs and public behavior in certain social contexts. Recently, pluralistic ignorance has gained increased attention in formal and social epistemology. But to get clear on what precisely a formal and social epistemological account of pluralistic ignorance should look like, we need answers to at least the following two questions: What exactly is the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance? And can the phenomenon arise among perfectly rational agents? In this paper, we propose answers to both these questions. First, we characterize different versions of pluralistic ignorance and define the version that we claim most... (More)
Pluralistic ignorance is a socio-psychological phenomenon that involves a systematic discrepancy between people’s private beliefs and public behavior in certain social contexts. Recently, pluralistic ignorance has gained increased attention in formal and social epistemology. But to get clear on what precisely a formal and social epistemological account of pluralistic ignorance should look like, we need answers to at least the following two questions: What exactly is the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance? And can the phenomenon arise among perfectly rational agents? In this paper, we propose answers to both these questions. First, we characterize different versions of pluralistic ignorance and define the version that we claim most adequately captures the examples cited as paradigmatic cases of pluralistic ignorance in the literature. In doing so, we will stress certain key epistemic and social interactive aspects of the phenomenon. Second, given our characterization of pluralistic ignorance, we argue that the phenomenon can indeed arise in groups of perfectly rational agents. This, in turn, ensures that the tools of formal epistemology can be fully utilized to reason about pluralistic ignorance. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Pluralistic ignorance Epistemic rationality Social behavior Rational interaction Private beliefs Public beliefs
in
Synthese
volume
191
issue
11
pages
2445 - 2470
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000337053600006
  • scopus:84896429021
ISSN
0039-7857
DOI
10.1007/s11229-014-0434-1
project
Collective Competence in Deliberative Groups: On the Epistemological Foundation of Democracy
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0c1457e5-a73c-47d7-bb1e-d4017f4519a9 (old id 4456872)
alternative location
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-014-0434-1
date added to LUP
2014-06-10 09:52:48
date last changed
2017-10-22 04:20:10
@article{0c1457e5-a73c-47d7-bb1e-d4017f4519a9,
  abstract     = {Pluralistic ignorance is a socio-psychological phenomenon that involves a systematic discrepancy between people’s private beliefs and public behavior in certain social contexts. Recently, pluralistic ignorance has gained increased attention in formal and social epistemology. But to get clear on what precisely a formal and social epistemological account of pluralistic ignorance should look like, we need answers to at least the following two questions: What exactly is the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance? And can the phenomenon arise among perfectly rational agents? In this paper, we propose answers to both these questions. First, we characterize different versions of pluralistic ignorance and define the version that we claim most adequately captures the examples cited as paradigmatic cases of pluralistic ignorance in the literature. In doing so, we will stress certain key epistemic and social interactive aspects of the phenomenon. Second, given our characterization of pluralistic ignorance, we argue that the phenomenon can indeed arise in groups of perfectly rational agents. This, in turn, ensures that the tools of formal epistemology can be fully utilized to reason about pluralistic ignorance.},
  author       = {Bjerring, Jens Christian and Hansen, Jens Ulrik and Pedersen, Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding},
  issn         = {0039-7857},
  keyword      = {Pluralistic ignorance Epistemic rationality Social behavior Rational interaction Private beliefs Public beliefs},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {2445--2470},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Synthese},
  title        = {On the rationality of pluralistic ignorance},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-014-0434-1},
  volume       = {191},
  year         = {2014},
}