Wednesday, 13 October 2010

One's relative, three's a crowd

Forget the theory of crowds.

According to Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School, testing large groups of people does not guarantee you an accurate answer to a problem.  Herd instincts get in the way.

Take a jar of jelly beans. Ask people to guess the number inside. Prime one big group of people with numbers significantly lower than the real number. Prime another group with numbers significantly higher. We'll all stick close to the number first specified. Whether it's true or not. Our natural tendency is to make relative rather than absolute decisions or choices.  We're only human, after all!

Click here to view details of the IPA's Behavioural Economics programme

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