• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Whenever you search in PBworks, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, and Slack. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.


Bias and Belief Part 6: Information-Gathering Behaviour

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 5 months ago

Information-Gathering Behaviour


Up: Book Index



  • Value of Information as a Scientific and Philosophical Problem
  • Two Attempts
  • Measuring Information
  • The Standard Account of the Value of Evidence
  • Information Aversion




  • Shannon’s proof uses consistency requirements to identify a mathematical measure of the information content of a proposition, just as the Cox proof mentioned in Part 1 uses consistency requirements to derive probability.


  • Bernardo showed that the ideally epistemically motivated Bernardo agent values tests of a proposition H exactly to the extent that they provide Shannonian information about H. Our ideally epistemically motivated agent with a finite number of cognitive acts provides a rough approximation to this utility function. One distinction between scientifically rational and scientifically irrational attitudes (about whether or not H) is that information about H has value for the former but not for the latter.


  • According to a well-established theorem of decision theory, information cannot have negative utility when the probabilities are act-independent.


  • In light of this theorem, the question arises of whether the human propensity to be averse to some information is explainable within descriptive Bayesianism (or indeed any intentional framework).


  • One possible way to include information aversion within descriptive Bayesianism is to invoke motivated inference; in particular, the motivated inference from receiving disconfirmatory information about H to the giving up of one’s opinion that H. If the opinion that H is motivated by a strong value bias, then the disconfirmatory information is aversive, in that the subject would greatly prefer not to receive it.


  • This provides a further distinction between scientifically rational and scientifically irrational attitudes: the latter is a necessary condition for information aversion, whereas a scientifically rational agent cannot be averse to information.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.