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A behavioral perspective on social choice

  • Anna Popova
  • Michel RegenwetterEmail author
  • Nicholas Mattei
Article

Abstract

We discuss what behavioral social choice can contribute to computational social choice. An important trademark of behavioral social choice is to switch perspective away from a traditional sampling approach in the social choice literature and to ask inference questions: Based on limited, imperfect, and highly incomplete observed data, what inference can we make about social choice outcomes at the level of a population that generated those observed data? A second important consideration in theoretical and behavioral work on social choice is model dependence: How do theoretical predictions and conclusions, as well as behavioral predictions and conclusions, depend on modeling assumptions about the nature of human preferences and/or how these preferences are expressed in ratings, rankings, and ballots of various kinds? Using a small subcollection from the Netflix Prize dataset, we illustrate these notions with real movie ratings from real raters. We highlight the key roles that inference and behavioral modeling play in the analysis of such data, particularly for sparse data like the Netflix ratings. The social and behavioral sciences can provide a supportive role in the effort to develop behaviorally meaningful and robust studies in computational social choice.

Keywords

Behavioral social choice Consensus methods Inference Model dependence Voting paradoxes 

Mathematics Subject Classifications (2010)

91B10 91B12 91B14 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Popova
    • 1
  • Michel Regenwetter
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nicholas Mattei
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  3. 3.NICTA and University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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