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Accelerating Democracy by John O. McGinnis

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Bias and Democracy

SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE IMPROVES collective decision making only if new information changes minds. But internal bias presents an important obstacle to updating on the basis of external evidence of the world. Indeed, some political scientists and psychologists believe bias is so pervasive that little if any updating takes place in politics. If bias prevents more information from modifying electoral outcomes, better deployment of information technology and better information-eliciting rules will not help solve problems of governance.

A host of biases infect political decision making. Nevertheless, even now these pervasive biases do not present an insuperable obstacle to democratic updating. The fundamental building blocks ...

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