Where do bayesian priors come from?

Synthese 156 (3):441 - 471 (2007)
Bayesian prior probabilities have an important place in probabilistic and statistical methods. In spite of this fact, the analysis of where these priors come from and how they are formed has received little attention. It is reasonable to excuse the lack, in the foundational literature, of detailed psychological theory of what are the mechanisms by which prior probabilities are formed. But it is less excusable that there is an almost total absence of a detailed discussion of the highly differentiating nature of past experience in forming a prior. The focus here is on what kind of account, even if necessarily schematic, can be given about the psychological mechanisms back of the formation of Bayesian priors. The last section examines a detailed experiment relevant to how priors are learned.
Keywords Bayesian priors  Learning mechanisms  Learning theory  Ramsey  de Finetti  Savage  Norms  Policy decisions
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Patrick Suppes (2010). The Nature of Probability. Philosophical Studies 147 (1):89 - 102.

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