Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hive Mind

This article brings to light some interesting research. Basically, when you ask two people to guess about something, the average of their two guesses is closest to accurate. When you ask a group of people, the accuracy increases.

And that sort of phenomenon could be expected. However, the strange thing is that when someone guesses *twice* - differently than their first, the average is also closer. At a second guess period of about three weeks, the average of the two guesses was about 16% more accurate. Not as accurate as a group, but more accurate than an individual.

I found strange a question they asked;
But that this happens at all raises questions about “individuality” within an individual. If guesses can shift almost at random, where are they coming from?

I don't know if it really raises questions about individuality. Certainly it seems like random, by my guess is that it might have something to do more with survival of the population. If a group of people (population of species) are able to correctly determine X, and correct decisions about whether something is dangerous or harmless tend to promote the survival of the species... those individuals who tend to guess too extreme will be removed from the population, and their genetics and learned behavior both will be removed.

*shrugs* but that's just my theory.

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