Cognition and Collective Intelligence

Cognitive and psychological research provides useful theoretical perspectives for understanding what is happening inside the mind of an individual in tasks such as memory recall, judgment and decision making, and problem-solving – including meta-cognitive tasks when an individual is reflecting on their own or other people’s performance. Understanding these processes within individuals can help us understand under what conditions collective intelligence might form for a group and how we might optimize that group’s collective performance. Each of these components alone, or in concert, can be understood to form the basic building blocks of group collective intelligence.  In this chapter, we will review the cognitive and psychological research related to collective intelligence. We will begin by exploring how cognitive biases can affect collective behavior, both in individuals and in groups. Next, we will discuss the issue of expertise, and discuss how more knowledgeable individuals may behave differently, and how they can be identified. We will also review some recent research on consensus-based models and meta-cognitive models such as the Bayesian truth serum that identify knowledgeable individuals in the absence of any ground truth. We will then look at how information sharing between individuals affects the collective performance, and review a number of studies that manipulate how that information is shared. Finally, we will look at collective intelligence within a single mind.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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