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  Majority rules: how good are we at aggregating convergent opinions?

Mercier, H., & Morin, O. (2019). Majority rules: how good are we at aggregating convergent opinions? Evolutionary Human Sciences, 1: e6. doi:10.1017/ehs.2019.6.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-BC8B-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-BC8C-C
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Mercier, Hugo, Author
Morin, Olivier1, Author              
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1The Mint, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2301700              

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Free keywords: Majority rules informational conformity cultural evolution herding informational dependency
 Abstract: Mathematical models and simulations demonstrate the power of majority rules, i.e. following an opinion shared by a majority of group members. Majority opinion should be followed more when (a) the relative and absolute size of the majority grow, the members of the majority are (b) competent, and (c) benevolent, (d) the majority opinion conflicts less with our prior beliefs and (e) the members of the majority formed their opinions independently. We review the experimental literature bearing on these points. The few experiments bearing on (b) and (c) suggest that both factors are adequately taken into account. Many experiments show that (d) is also followed, with participants usually putting too much weight on their own opinion relative to that of the majority. Regarding factors (a) and (e), in contrast, the evidence is mixed: participants sometimes take into account optimally the absolute and relative size of the majority, as well as the presence of informational dependencies. In other circumstances, these factors are ignored. We suggest that an evolutionary framework can help make sense of these conflicting results by distinguishing between evolutionarily valid cues – that are readily taken into account – and non-evolutionarily valid cues – that are ignored by default.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-05-31
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2019.6
Other: shh2235
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Title: Evolutionary Human Sciences
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 1 Sequence Number: e6 Start / End Page: - Identifier: Other: Evolutionary Human Sciences
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2513-843X