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Availability Cascade

General scientific definition

"An availability cascade is a self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation by which an expressed perception triggers a chain reaction that gives the perception increasing plausibility through its rising availability in public discourse. The driving mechanism involves a combination of informational and reputational motives: Individuals endorse the perception partly by learning from the apparent beliefs of others and partly by distorting their public responses in the interest of maintaining social acceptance." 

Cass R. Sunstein & Timur Kuran (1999) "Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation," 51 Stanford Law Review 683. 

Relevant substantive theories


Kuran, T., & Sunstein, C. R. (1999). Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation. Stanford Law Review, 51(4), 683-768.


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