CrowdSolving – Beyond CrowdSourcing?

I’m not very convinced of the “wisdom of crowds.” There are numerous examples of how “the wisdom of crowds” is in fact the “idiocy of the mob.” Look at some political movements or some of the more extreme religions, for instance: a good few of these make no sense, but they have a lot of people who believe them. In Vanatu, an island in the Pacific, there is a cargo cult called the John Frum Cult that thinks building replicas of USA air force bases from World War II will bring the USA and all their goods back to the island. A lot of people believe this.

There is a lot of research from social psychology showing that groups polarize decisions in contrast to individuals. A group will make a more extreme decision (cautious or risky) than an individual. There is also the fact that estimations of physical sizes and weights will tend to show a normal distribution, with the most common estimate, the mode, being the correct one. Here there is wisdom in crowds, or more likely the wisdom of the normal distribution, the central limit theorem and statistics in general. Distributions are wonderful things.

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  Andrew Jeavons · Innovation Consultant

With over 25 years in the market research industry, Andrew is a frequent writer and speaker for various publications and events around the country. He has a back ground in psychology and statistics, and currently focusses on innovation with in survey research.

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