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Collective Intelligence: Crowd Wisdom versus Herding


  • Andreas Engert



The chapter provides an introduction to the social science of ‘collective intelligence’, the aggregation of individual judgments for purposes of collective decision making. It starts from the basic logic of the Condorcet jury theorem and summarizes the main determinants of the accuracy of collective cognition. The recent research has focused on developing and refining formal aggregation methods beyond majority voting. The chapter presents the main findings on the two general approaches, surveying and prediction markets. It then contrasts these techniques with informal deliberation as a basic and prevalent aggregation mechanism. One conclusion is that while deliberation is prone to herding and can distort collective judgment, it is also more versatile and robust than formal mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Engert, 2020. "Collective Intelligence: Crowd Wisdom versus Herding," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_166, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:bon:boncrc:crctr224_2020_166

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    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General

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