This Monday I presented Chapter 2 of the book Wisdom of the Crowds, named “The Difference Difference Makes: Waggle Dances, The Bay of Pigs, and the Value of Diversity”. I know my presentation wasn’t anything like our dear Paul’s, but I hope you all learned a little bit!!!
Here is a summary about what the chapter entails:
- The importance of diversity here is not in a sociological sense (defining, for example, race, ethnicities or cultures- although they can be a part of it) but in a conceptual and cognitive sense (of ideas, opinions, perspectives).
- The more similar a group is, the more similar the ideas they appreciate will be. On the other hand, if the group is diverse, the chances of someone gambling, taking a chance, bringing in a different perspective increases.
- Intelligence is important, but alone is not enough. Intelligence does not guarantee different perspectives on a problem.
- Diversity is even more important on small groups. In large groups, diversity is almost guaranteed and in small groups it’s easy for a few based individuals to exert undue influence and skew the group’s collective decision.
- Groups too much alike= too much time exploiting and not enough time exploring.
- Value of expertise is overrated, since they provide a narrow view. Experts usually overconfident.
- Why do we cling to the idea of experts? We assume averaging means dumbing down or compromising!
- “The crowd is blind to its own wisdom.”
- When decision makers are so much alike, they easily fall prey to Groupthink, like in the Bay of Pigs or the failure to anticipate Pearl Harbor.
- Groupthink is when a cohesive group becomes dependent and more convinced that the group’s judgment on important issues must be right. An illusion of invulnerability. Convinced they’re right, there is no one to challenge conventional wisdom.
Oh, and click here for my semester project blog, I have updated it!!!! Please check it out, I swear it won’t take too long! 🙂