New research by Jan Lorenz, et. al. provides a possible explanation for the reduction in "wisdom" phenomenon,
The wisdom of crowd effect is a statistical phenomenon and not a social psychological effect, because it is based on a mathematical aggregation of individual estimates.
In contrast, we demonstrate by experimental evidence (N = 144) that even mild social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect in simple estimation tasks.
Although groups are initially “wise,” knowledge about estimates of others narrows the diversity of opinions to such an extent that it undermines the wisdom of crowd effect in three different ways.
- The “social influence effect” diminishes the diversity of the crowd without improvements of its collective error.The increase in social interaction over the Internet probably leads to similar "wisdom" deterioration effects.
- The “range reduction effect” moves the position of the truth to peripheral regions of the range of estimates so that the crowd becomes less reliable in providing expertise for external observers.
- The “confidence effect” boosts individuals’ confidence after convergence of their estimates despite lack of improved accuracy.
tags: reverse brainstorm, psychology, social, network,