Publications by authors named "Boudewijn de Bruin"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Development and Validation of the Epistemic Vice Scale.

Rev Philos Psychol 2021 Jun 25:1-28. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Faculty of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

This paper presents two studies on the development and validation of a ten-item scale of epistemic vice and the relationship between epistemic vice and misinformation and fake news. Epistemic vices have been defined as character traits that interfere with acquiring, maintaining, and transmitting knowledge. Examples of epistemic vice are gullibility and indifference to knowledge. It has been hypothesized that epistemically vicious people are especially susceptible to misinformation and conspiracy theories. We conducted one exploratory and one confirmatory observational survey study on Amazon Mechanical Turk among people living in the United States (total  = 1737). We show that two psychological traits underlie the range of epistemic vices that we investigated: indifference to truth and rigidity. Indifference manifests itself in a lack of motivation to find the truth. Rigidity manifests itself in being insensitive to evidence. We develop a scale to measure epistemic vice with the subscales indifference and rigidity. The Epistemic Vice Scale is internally consistent; has good convergent, divergent, and discriminant validity; and is strongly associated with the endorsement of misinformation and conspiracy theories. Epistemic vice explains additional variance in the endorsement of misinformation and conspiracy theories over and above demographic and related psychological concepts and shows medium to large effect sizes across outcome measures. We demonstrate that epistemic vice differs from existing psychological constructs, and show that the scale can explain individual differences in dealing with misinformation and conspiracy theories. We conclude that epistemic vice might contribute to "postfactive" ways of thinking.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13164-021-00562-5.
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June 2021

The Ethics of Cloud Computing.

Sci Eng Ethics 2017 02 17;23(1):21-39. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 1 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JS, UK.

Cloud computing is rapidly gaining traction in business. It offers businesses online services on demand (such as Gmail, iCloud and Salesforce) and allows them to cut costs on hardware and IT support. This is the first paper in business ethics dealing with this new technology. It analyzes the informational duties of hosting companies that own and operate cloud computing datacentres (e.g., Amazon). It considers the cloud services providers leasing 'space in the cloud' from hosting companies (e.g., Dropbox, Salesforce). And it examines the business and private 'clouders' using these services. The first part of the paper argues that hosting companies, services providers and clouders have mutual informational (epistemic) obligations to provide and seek information about relevant issues such as consumer privacy, reliability of services, data mining and data ownership. The concept of interlucency is developed as an epistemic virtue governing ethically effective communication. The second part considers potential forms of government restrictions on or proscriptions against the development and use of cloud computing technology. Referring to the concept of technology neutrality, it argues that interference with hosting companies and cloud services providers is hardly ever necessary or justified. It is argued, too, however, that businesses using cloud services (e.g., banks, law firms, hospitals etc. storing client data in the cloud) will have to follow rather more stringent regulations.
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February 2017