Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Group Inefficiency

Last week I pointed to a piece about how groups tend towards more extreme opinions and now this week comes some information about how inefficiently groups operate. Overcoming Bias points to an entry about how groups work that points out, “groups tend to spend most of their time discussing the information shared by members, which is therefore redundant, rather than discussing information known only to one or a minority of members. This is important because those groups that do share unique information tend to make better decisions.”

It’s interesting to think about this in terms of groups tending to convince themselves to the most extreme opinion. People tend not to want to question the group, no matter how extreme it may get, only offering information that will be embraced. (As usual, most of this makes logical sense to everyone, but is interesting in context of a study.)

May 15, 2009