Here's an Article on the Dangers of Shared Information―Share It!

More
As news organizations make various attempts to curate and promote the world of information, many rely on "shared" news as a proxy for worthy news. Newspapers highlight their most emailed stories, and article pages on this site and others prominently feature Facebook and Twitter statistics that advertise the degree to which readers share our pieces.

But a new study highlighted by Wired Science suggests that sharing information corrupts the "wisdom of crowds" by making people confident about certain viewpoints whose only merit is the fact that they're widely shared.

"Although groups are initially 'wise,' knowledge about estimates of others narrows the diversity of opinions to such an extent that it undermines" collective wisdom, wrote researchers led by mathematician Jan Lorenz and sociologist Heiko Rahut of Switzerland's ETH Zurich, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on May 16. "Even mild social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect."

And here's a chaser for that shot of pop psychology: At 1:30pm Tuesday, this Wired Science article about the dangers of shared information was the sixth most shared article of the day on Google News. Draw your own conclusions.



Read the full story at Wired Science.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do Men Assume They're So Great?

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of this month's Atlantic cover story, sit down with Hanna Rosin to discuss the power of confidence and how self doubt holds women back. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In