The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting

Rebecca Morton, Marco Piovesan, Jean Robert Tyran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a “dark side,” that is, result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. In line with theoretical predictions, information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. However, in the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective and does not sufficiently de-bias voters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Voters
Vote
Information aggregation
Majority voting
Policy choice
Information theory
Prediction
Minorities
Inefficiency
Social experiment

Keywords

  • Cognitive biases
  • Information aggregation
  • Social information
  • Voting
  • Wisdom of crowds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

The dark side of the vote : Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting. / Morton, Rebecca; Piovesan, Marco; Tyran, Jean Robert.

In: Games and Economic Behavior, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{df33f402f63a44c4b1a818fbc505fe10,
title = "The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting",
abstract = "We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a “dark side,” that is, result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. In line with theoretical predictions, information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. However, in the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective and does not sufficiently de-bias voters.",
keywords = "Cognitive biases, Information aggregation, Social information, Voting, Wisdom of crowds",
author = "Rebecca Morton and Marco Piovesan and Tyran, {Jean Robert}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.geb.2018.10.008",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Games and Economic Behavior",
issn = "0899-8256",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The dark side of the vote

T2 - Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting

AU - Morton, Rebecca

AU - Piovesan, Marco

AU - Tyran, Jean Robert

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a “dark side,” that is, result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. In line with theoretical predictions, information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. However, in the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective and does not sufficiently de-bias voters.

AB - We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a “dark side,” that is, result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. In line with theoretical predictions, information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. However, in the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective and does not sufficiently de-bias voters.

KW - Cognitive biases

KW - Information aggregation

KW - Social information

KW - Voting

KW - Wisdom of crowds

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85056570405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85056570405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.geb.2018.10.008

DO - 10.1016/j.geb.2018.10.008

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85056570405

JO - Games and Economic Behavior

JF - Games and Economic Behavior

SN - 0899-8256

ER -