When The Wisdom Of Crowds Is Wrong

One seemingly radical solution is to not make every vote count the same. Those of potentially better informed parties would count more than those of worse informed parties (or those that are most affected by the outcome count more). For certain decisions, such as those made by companies, this is feasible. In “Identifying Expertise to Extract the Wisdom of the Crowds,” winner of the 2016 Exeter Prize, Budescu and Chen use past performance to find experts in a crowd and count their views more. The company Goodjudgment (where Chen is now employed) is working on commercially implementing such a solution.

In “Vote or Shout,” myself and Chakravarty consider replacing voting with a “shouting match” where the noisiest person gets to decide. This can be thought of a system with lobbyists. Since shouting is costly, the better informed or the one that cares the most will be more willing to shout the loudest. This will be beneficial in the case of a new restaurant where it is likely that at most one of the friends have tried it or in the case where the days are, for the most part, equally available to all and only occasionally there will be a conflict.

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