Visual Encyclopedia

Wisdom of the crowd

The wisdom of the crowd is the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than that of a single expert.

A large group's aggregated answers to questions involving quantity estimation, general world knowledge, and spatial reasoning has generally been found to be as good as, and often better than, the answer given by any of the individuals within the group. An explanation for this phenomenon is that there is idiosyncratic noise associated with each individual judgment, and taking the average over a large number of responses will go some way toward canceling the effect of this noise. This process, while not new to the Information Age, has been pushed into the mainstream spotlight by social information sites such as Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers, Quora, and other web resources that rely on human opinion.

The description above is licensed from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons license.

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A BBC Video explaining the idea behind Sussle--that crowds can provide more wisdom than a single person. By coming together on one point, it might be more effectively explained than if told by just one person. The video uses a great example of literally adding up people's answers to show how multiple people working together might better work to see the answer to a question.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

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Contributed by Andres Martinez

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