The persistence of political myths and ideologies

Autor(en): Apolte, T.
Müller, J. 
Stichwörter: Cognition; Information cascades; Jury theorem; Rational ignorance
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Herausgeber: Elsevier B.V.
Journal: European Journal of Political Economy
Why do groups of even well-educated individuals sometimes persistently believe in political myths and ideologies? We follow cognition psychology in its finding that individuals sometimes stick with intuitive but false propositions. We maintain, however, that they challenge their intuition when the consequences for their individual welfare are sufficiently severe. We embed the underlying evidence in a model of social interaction that determines the conditions of a myth equilibrium, in which almost all individuals deeply believe in a certain myth and stick with its ex-post rationalization, or those of a truth equilibrium in which all individuals pursue ex-ante reasoning that aims to get as close to the truth as possible. We show how myths are clustered around certain groups and why groups are more likely to stick with political myths than individuals, which challenges the generality of Condorcet's jury theorem. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN: 01762680
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2021.102076
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