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Accelerating DemocracyTransforming Governance Through Technology$
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John O. McGinnis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151021

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151021.001.0001

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Bias and Democracy

Bias and Democracy

Chapter:
(p.121) Chapter Eight Bias and Democracy
Source:
Accelerating Democracy
Author(s):

John O. McGinnis

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151021.003.0009

This chapter surveys the many kinds of political bias. These include special interest bias, “knowledge falsification” by the majority, innate majoritarian bias, status quo bias, cultural cognition and motivated reasoning, and framing. It then shows that democracy is often able to overcome biases within the citizenry, because it takes only a majority or a relatively modest supermajority of people to change ordinary legislative policy. Thus, if many, or even most, people are imprisoned by their own worldviews, misled by politicians' frames, or remain ignorant of all new information relevant to public policy, the shift of a relatively small portion of voters can often make a decisive difference.

Keywords:   political bias, democracy, special interests, knowledge falsification, innate majoritarian bias, status quo, cultural cognition

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