Understanding polarization: Meanings, measures, and model evaluation

Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, William J. Berger, Graham Sack, Steven Fisher, Carissa Flocken, Bennett Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polarization is a topic of intense interest among social scientists, but there is significant disagreement regarding the character of the phenomenon and little understanding of underlying mechanics. A first problem, we argue, is that polarization appears in the literature as not one concept but many. In the first part of the article, we distinguish nine phenomena that may be considered polarization, with suggestions of appropriate measures for each. In the second part of the article, we apply this analysis to evaluate the types of polarization generated by the three major families of computational models proposing specific mechanisms of opinion polarization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-159
Number of pages45
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Bramson, A., Grim, P., Singer, D. J., Berger, W. J., Sack, G., Fisher, S., Flocken, C., & Holman, B. (2017). Understanding polarization: Meanings, measures, and model evaluation. Philosophy of Science, 84(1), 115-159. https://doi.org/10.1086/688938