Collective opinions…

How are we affected by other peoples’ opinions? To answer this question, scientists at the CNRS, Inra and Université Toulouse 1 Capitole conducted a study in France and Japan, quantifying this impact on our decisions. They identified five behaviors common to both countries: the majority of subjects make a compromise between their opinion and that of others (59% of people in France), some hold to their opinion (29% in France), whereas others follow faithfully, amplify or contradict the information they receive. The study also shows how social information can help a group collectively improve its performance and the precision of its estimates. From this analysis, a model has been developed that reproduces the results of the study and predicts the performance of a group depending on the amount and quality of information exchanged between its members. The long-term goal would be to develop algorithms for decision-making support tools. The results of this study were published on November 6, 2017 in PNAS. (1)

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We do not decide on our own.

Even when we think we do.

The ghosts of others are always with us.

Either as a force of reassurance or as a force of reaction.

The only way to think is by not thinking.

Because what you feel as your thought,

is not your own at all…

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