SciPost Submission Page

First-order transition in a model of prestige bias

by Brian Skinner

Submission summary

As Contributors: Brian Skinner
Arxiv Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.05813v2
Date submitted: 2019-10-31
Submitted by: Skinner, Brian
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Discipline: Physics
Subject area: Statistical and Soft Matter Physics
Approach: Theoretical

Abstract

One of the major benefits of belonging to a prestigious group is that it affects the way you are viewed by others. Here I use a simple mathematical model to explore the implications of this "prestige bias" when candidates undergo repeated rounds of evaluation. In the model, candidates who are evaluated most highly are admitted to a "prestige class", and their membership biases future rounds of evaluation in their favor. I use the language of Bayesian inference to describe this bias, and show that it can lead to a runaway effect in which the weight given to the prior expectation associated with a candidate's class becomes stronger with each round. Most dramatically, the strength of the prestige bias after many rounds undergoes a first-order transition as a function of the precision of the examination on which the evaluation is based.

Current status:
Editor-in-charge assigned


Submission & Refereeing History

Submission 1910.05813v2 on 31 October 2019

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