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06/03/2015 CoWell Brown Bag Research Seminar: Correcting Errors in the Wisdom of Crowds

June 3, 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 12:45 to 14:00

Accurate inferences about the world are fundamental to adaptive actions of groups, and complex systems make inferences about the environment using the activity of their elements. Collective intelligence emerges from element interaction through the principle of many wrongs, whereby numerous individual measurements are aggregated to cancel individual imprecision. Using data from an experiment where participants had to judge the areas of circles, I demonstrate in the simplest way I could think that statistically noticeable association between collective error, and the skew of judgment distributions formed by many people evaluating the same phenomenon, can be used to improve collective intelligence, even of wiser subsets of crowds. The psychophysical cause of this possibility is examined and implications are discussed from the perspective of organizational adaptation.

Ulrik William Nash’s research visit is funded by the DFG-project “Opinion Dynamics and Collective Decision” by Dr. Jan Lorenz. For more information about the project please check the website: