is our reward

Publications in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

January 1, 2022

Predictions pose unique problems. Experts regularly get them wrong, and collective solutions (such as prediction markets and super-forecaster schemes) do better but remain selective and costly. Contrary to the idea that face-to-face discussion hinders collective intelligence, social deliberation improves the resolution of general knowledge problems, with four consensually agreed answers outperforming the aggregate knowledge of 5,000 nondeliberating individuals. Could discussion help predict the future in an efficient, cheap, and inclusive way? We show that smaller groups of lay individuals, when organized, come up with better predictions than those they provide alone. Deliberation and consensus made individual predictions significantly more accurate. Aggregating as few as two consensual predictions did better than classical “wisdom of crowds” aggregation of 100 individual ones. Against the view that discussion can impair decision-making, our results demonstrate that collective intelligence of small groups and consensus-seeking improves accuracy about yet unknown facts, opening the avenue for efficient, inclusive, and inexpensive group forecasting solutions.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Experimental Psychology