Group Intelligence: The Majority or the Average?
Our behavior and decisions in crowds are constrained by the fact that we can usually interact only with those nearby. In most other group situations, we can communicate much more freely with all group members to make joint decisions. But how can we use this enhanced communication to make the best group decisions?
There are two basic options: to take a majority vote or to determine some sort of average opinion. Author James Surowiecki has produced a plethora of examples of the latter in The Wisdom of Crowds. Recent research has delineated the essential circumstances for this approach to work; more importantly, it has shown how it works. In this chapter I examine old and new examples in light ...