Getting People To Agree: A TED Experiment

Getting People To Agree: A TED Experiment

In April Mariano Sigman and I (mostly Mariano) carried out an experiment at TED on how to get people to make better decisions and to agree!  Here is the video and the writeup describing this and other experiments on the topic of how to get people to agree on difficult questions.  An important challenge these days…..

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The video:

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And the ideas piece:

How Can We Improve Democracy? One Intriguing Idea: Set Up A Jury System.

Collective wisdom might best be found when small groups of people are given a chance to discuss and deliberate, say social scientists Mariano Sigman, Joaquin Navajas, Gerry Garbulsky and Dan Ariely. Could this suggest a better way to vote?

For many years, problems with democracy have been pushed under the carpet in the general belief that “democracy is the worst form of government — except for all the others.” While people have felt unhappy with the results after certain elections, their unhappiness didn’t cause them to question the entire system.

However, after surprising results like the EU referendum in the UK (aka Brexit), the 2016 US presidential election, or the 2016 peace referendum in Colombia, this feeling has changed. We’ve seen that democratic decisions are more volatile and less predictable than what common sense and forecasting technologies were ready to accept. In fact, it might be time to refine and revise what we mean by democracy and how it should be implemented.

While science cannot establish the goals of democracy, carefully designed scientific experiments can — and should — help identify the best ways to achieve them after they’re agreed upon by a society. For centuries, sociologists, political scientists, mathematicians and others have tried to work out ways in which voting might better represent the will of the people. Psychologists have studied the subject and enumerated the reasons why collective decisions can often go wrong. Social interactions can exaggerate individual biases, leading to herding, violence contagion and other unwanted phenomenon, as described by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay in his 1841 book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds.

Read the full article here by Mariano Sigman, Joaquin Navajas, Gerry Garbulsky, Dan Ariely -

Article by Dan Ariely

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