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When is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? Studying collective cognition in human problem solving

15 luglio 2013
Ex Boccherini - Piazza S. Ponziano 6 (Conference Room )
How do we think together? In particular, how do groups of individuals solve problems, and how do our patterns of communication affect collective problem solving? This presentation summarizes a series of laboratory and computational experiments which highlight the dual effects of communication on problem solving in groups. On the one hand, communication allows individuals to find out how others solve a particular problem and thus allows quick dissemination of "best practices." However, communication may also squelch diversity of approaches, and thus reduce the creativity of the group/organization. This presentation discusses this dual role, with a particular focus on the various possible interventions to balance these competing effects.
Lazer, David M.J. - Northeastern University - Boston