Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monomania - not just boring, but dangerous too

Cognitive Daily reports on a study showing that one person repeatedly reiterating of their point of view is as influential as multiple people giving their opinion separately.

From the comments:

"I was about to point out that a lot of people are saying that in their opinion Islam must be destroyed, but then I realized: I don't know if it really *is* a lot of people, or if it's a few people repeating it over and over until it *seems* like a lot of people, which is exactly the point."


Indeed.

3 comments:

Dave Munger said...

Thanks for the link -- and thanks for setting that fellow straight in the comments. I love your blog, btw -- just added you to my RSS reader.

Auntie Em said...

Hi Dave (& Greta) - you're most welcome! I'm a big fan of Cognitive Daily. Kepp bringing us the good stuff.

DavidC said...

I wonder how this compares to the "wisdom of crowds" idea? If one person in the crowd repeatedly says "that cow weighs 3 tonnes" then the mean will be way out. Not wise. I guess one has to somehow de-correlate responses before collating them, in order to remove this kind of repeat bias. Or just ignore those who keep wittering...

Incidently, Googling for "wisdom of crows" gives quite a different result...

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