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Information Ethics Rountable Speaker, Kevin Zollman is a professor of Philosophy and Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.


"Conformity, Social networks, and the Emergence of Pluralistic Ignorance"

Abstract: Occasionally, people refuse to publicly state their beliefs because they think others disagree.  Others do in fact share their belief, but are also afraid to speak out for similar reasons. No one is speaking out and as a result, the false group belief persists; each member thinks they believe differently from one another.  This phenomena, known as pluralistic ignorance, is puzzling for many reasons.  In this talk, I will use a new computer simulation model for the emergence of pluralistic ignorance to discover under what situations we might expect it to arise. Ultimately, I conclude that pluralistic ignorance requires relatively special conditions to arise. In particular, I argue that pluralistic ignorance will only arise in conditions where individual's beliefs are shifting for other reasons.


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