We pose the following main research questions: How should diversity be conceptualised and operationalised in empirical studies? How does the human mind deal with an increasing diversity of sources of information, and values? How can we refine and apply norms of diversity to make them work better?
Keywords: wisdom of crowds, collective intelligence, division of cognitive labor, complexity, social learning, belief formation, belief updating, confidence, uncertainty, creativity
Humans bring diverse beliefs, perspectives and strategies to problem solving. This cognitive diversity means that groups of people can often outperform individual experts (the “wisdom of crowds”, or “collective intelligence”). For this to work in real-world contexts, people must integrate volatile and varied pieces of social information into their own representations of the problem. In complex, unfamiliar cases, where expertise is hard to assess, where no clear majority opinion exists, or where other established heuristics for weighting information are unavailable, the human response to diversity frequently diverges from normative frameworks. We are studying how cognitive diversity in collective solving problem plays out in complex, real-world problems.
At this stage we are:
Putting the final touches on a perspective paper on the Diversity Gap (why cognitive diversity seems to hold much promise in theory, but why this promise sometimes fails to materialise in reality);
Designing a empirical study of the role of neurodiversity in problem solving;
Developing an agent-based simulation of diversity in social-learning strategies in a complex epistemic landscape;
Writing up a paper on people’s use of cues to informational diversity in belief updating.
Our latest research updates:
Our paper “Social influence and informational independence” will be presented as a poster at the CogSci 2020 conference. A preprint of the paper is available at https://osf.io/9pmqy/ Abstract: We frequently use social information when making decisions. For instance, other people may know more about a problem than we do, so...
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