Can the Wisdom of Crowds effect be used to solve the mystery of Flight MH370? Are the masses more intelligent than the experts? Read More
is it wisdom of the crowds, outsourcing or both? I dont want to be mean just accurate.
I think it's different have the same result (or better -or faster-) asking 100 persons resolving a puzzle vs one expert than asking 100 persons resolving 100 different puzzles vs one expert resolving 100 puzzles.
I dont want to enter in the specifics of that particular case, but if it's the case of 100 people - 100 different puzzles, there is no wisdom of the crowd, because there is no crowd working in the same "problem" rather than "brute force"/resources.
Is it a crowd....the purpose here is most definitely speed, not accuracy.
The reward is the potential to find the answer more quickly. Much more quickly than a small group of experts. However, we're dealing with untrained eyes so this method could generate, for example, false positives or a volunteer overlooking a critical detail. Still I think it is a good parallel approach that at least supports the effort of the experts.
success in finding plane through crowd sourcing doesnt prove masses are more intelligent than expert. it just proves that more pair of hands are handier in this case. those masses doing the search only need IQ high enough to be able to click the mouse using tomnod's maps and try to guess oil spill or wreckage objects. the more you can find such volunteers the higher the chance to find the plane
expert in any field has limitations. His thinking always in line with his subject. He has to fallow all the rules and guidelines. short sighted but more specific in nature. for masses, sky is the limit. who knows, some one from masses may tell you where to find the plane.
I do not believe that intelligence is hereditary. Not one bit. Our environment influences ourselves, and ultimately, our brain. As a matter of fact, exercising increases your brain size, hence, brain volume. Not good enough? Cab drivers have big hippocampus. Hereditary has no impact or influence on a persons intelligence.
So of course I don't believe this theory. I would argue that is practical for a group to solve a complex puzzle. It makes social sense. We see it animals. How one a group of wolves work together to take down a meal. I believe that is the case here. And since we are both human and social creatires, it is wired to help solve problems.
On its surface it makes logical sense to increase the number of the population to help solve a problem. If you look at what CNN is doing(they are going all-out on it) they are in effect using group wisdom to help solve the mysterious case. And I mean they are putting everything on the table: experts, Cheech and Chong, toy planes, etc. But that's a different topic all entirely. You need to talk about the ethics about the reporting as well as the judgment. Quite frankly, I believe they are an embarrassment.
But to get back on topic, I believe group wisdom supports social theory than evolution theory. And in the case of the mysterious flight disappearance, is more evident. Some experts just give intelligence a bad name. We all believe we can solve problems, that makes us human. But we forget to realize how vulnerable we really are, and how easy it is to hurt people.
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Mark van Vugt is a professor of social and organizational psychology at the VU University Amsterdam and a research associate at Oxford University.
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