“If four basic conditions are met, a crowd’s ‘collective intelligence’ will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts, even if members of the crowd don’t know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally.
‘Wise crowds’ need:
- diversity of opinion;
- independence of members from one another;
- decentralization; and
- a good method for aggregating opinions.
The diversity brings in different information; independence keeps people from being swayed by a single opinion leader; people’s errors balance each other out; and including all opinions guarantees that the results are ‘smarter’ than if a single expert had been in charge.”
– Publishers Weekly review of James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds: why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies, and nations