How to Get Wisdom from the Crowd, Divide by Confidence

August 4, 2014

The article titled Forget the Wisdom of Crowds, Neurobiologists Reveal the Wisdom of the Confident on MIT Technology Review engages with new research on collective opinions in a group of people. The concept of the wisdom of the crowd posits that a group of people might be better able to form a correct opinion than an individual expert. Does this sound wrong to you? The article states,

“This phenomenon is commonplace today on websites such as Reddit in which users vote on the importance of particular stories and the most popular are given greater prominence. However, anyone familiar with Reddit will know that the collective opinion isn’t always wise…

It turns out that if a crowd offers a wide range of independent estimates, then it is more likely to be wise.”

Once biased is introduced to a crowd, however, there opinion is much more likely to be “stupid.” Scientists believe that by separating confident thinkers from more sheep-like thinkers allow for a greater chance of the groups arrival at wisdom. Anyone who has played a trivia game on a team already knows that the most confident person is often trusted over other hesitant players. But what happens when this notion is applied to search and retrieval? Scientists are still working on applying this information to real world scenarios.

Chelsea Kerwin, August 04, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext


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