Talk:Wisdom of the crowd

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When did the term arise in English?[edit]

Ideally the article should say when the term started getting used in English. It was obviously long before the book by James Surowiecki titled The Wisdom of Crowds, but perhaps after Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. - Permacultura (talk) 13:16, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Also[edit]

I quite often say that Wikipedia is *not* a good example of Wisdom of the Crowd, and so we should not uncritically (and in a way that sounds like bragging on ourselves) make that claim. If someone else has cited us as an example, that would be valid to include, with a reference, but the current entry currently simply makes the claim.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:39, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

There having been no response to my comments for several days, I have taken the liberty of removing the uncited passage in question.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:31, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
I wonder how many pages must be on your watch list. Looking over this article I'm trying to figure out where wisdom of the crowd ends and Hayek's dispersed knowledge begins. Everybody has some information but nobody has all the information...which ties into Buddha's idea of the blind men and an elephant...which ties into the division of labor concept. There's clearly an information disparity between you and I. You know things that I do not and vice versa.
Let's say that we could stand on a large balance weight scale that indicated how much we each knew. If you know more than I do then your side would go down and my side would go up. What if I added a random person to my side? Do you know more than two random people?
Imagine we stepped off the scale and an average congressperson stood on one side of the scale. Congresspeople are expected to be fairly knowledgeable. How many random people would we have to add to the other side in order to balance the scale? What if we added 538 congresspeople to one side of the scale? Then how many random people would we have to add to the other side in order to balance the scale? To make a long story short...given your unique insight...I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts on tax choice. --Xerographica (talk) 23:22, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Crowds work best.[edit]

I think this sentence is misleading.

"Crowds tend to work best when there is a correct answer to the question being posed, such as a question about geography or mathematics."

Won't any system of decision-making give a closer approximation to the answer if there is a correct answer? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikedonovan2011 (talkcontribs) 21:48, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Independence[edit]

It seems in vogue to say that wisdom of crowds works well with "independence of the individual judgments from each other". But then how do we explain centuries of effective jury duty where deliberation is used? I don't think independence should be presented as some kind of golden rule. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikedonovan2011 (talkcontribs) 21:53, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Chinese expression[edit]

I've seen a similar phrase used in Chinese: 但群众的智慧是无限的 - "the wisdom of the masses is infinite". According to google this is a commonly used phrase, at least online (albeit, often ironically). I am not a native Chinese speaker, could someone with a bit more knowledge be able to find a source saying if the two terms are related, or refer to the same idea? --86.160.207.169 (talk) 10:57, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Examples other than Galton?[edit]

Like the book by Surowiecki, this article prominently features the 'classic' experiment by Francis Galton. If Galton's finding has any general validity, should there not be a reference to some more modern and scientifically rigorous study? Surowiecki gives a few examples, but they look a bit thin and I think there is a danger of attributing to 'crowds' some semi-mystical ability. Guessing the number of beans in a jar (one of Surowiecki's examples) is plausible enough, but how about guessing the number of grains of sand in a large heap? Millions? Billions? How many bricks in a house? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Surely there are cases where the 'crowd' heavily over or under-estimates. In the Galton case, incidentally, he was criticised at the time on the grounds that many of the visitors to an agricultural fair would in one way or another be experts on livestock.109.158.128.174 (talk) 20:38, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

This article would be strengthened by greater citation of secondary sources, especially more recent secondary sources. Popular science books such as those written by Carl Sagan might be a good place to look. Leibnesc (talk) 02:47, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Analogues with individual cognition: the "crowd within"[edit]

This section seems like it could be broken up to improve clarity. Subsections to categorize the analogies may be helpful (chronology, technology related, etc). I will look into it. Please post suggestions if you have any ideas or problems. Also some entries in this section may belong in the problems section. Abres008 (talk) 19:20, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Content Distribution and crowd definition[edit]

The "Definition of crowd" section seems like it should be reworked with appropriate sources- It isn't currently attributed to any given source, and seems to arbitrarily draw upon Yahoo! Answers as an example. I'm planning on overhauling that section to ultimately remove the "original research " template. Additionally, it seems like the "crowd within" occupies a disproportionately large section of the article, so I'm going to seek out additional sources that discuss multi-user applications. (The "crowd within" also goes unmentioned the extant Definition of crowd section, so I'll include it in the updated definition.) Let me know if any of this seems disagreeable or otherwise in need of additional changes. Stuem007 (talk) 22:35, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

In addition to adding another example, I've redone the "definition of the crowd" section with citations. I'm leaving the "original research" template in place temporarily, just in case anyone has some feedback on the new definition or wants to revert and cite the original version. Stuem007 (talk) 07:05, 3 April 2017 (UTC)