Miguel Ballester: The Rationalizability of Survey Responses

30 mars 23

Thursday March 30, 2023 at 11am (room A707)

Speaker: Miguel Ballester (University of Oxford)

Title: The Rationalizability of Survey Responses (with Jose Apesteguia)

Abstract : In this paper we propose and study the notion of survey rationalizability. For the simplest case of dichotomous surveys, rationalizability means that both questions and ideal views of individuals can be located in the real line in a way that agreed questions correspond to those providing higher utility than a threshold. We show how the relative location of questions can be learnt using a revelation mechanism that involves pairs of individuals and triplets of questions, and that the acyclicity of these revelations suffices for rationalizability. We then show that our analysis readily extends to the cases of non-dichotomous Likert-scales and of probabilistic responses. We further study the identification of the main parameters of the model and show that, in an exponential version of the probabilistic model, even the cardinal locations can be fully determined. We conclude by studying an alternative model of survey responses known as Guttman-scales.