Five common group interaction traps

The argument that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts provides a powerful incentive to consult a group rather than an individual. As a research agency that promotes the generation of Collective Intelligence through online tools, Silverman Research acknowledge that under certain circumstances groups can make terrible decisions. While our report on Collective Intelligence in Organisations explores this in greater detail, below is a list of five social biases typical of group interactions that you should be aware of.

1 – The bandwagon effect
Participants are more likely to adopt particular behaviours or perceptions simply because many other participants do (this is similar to social herding). 

2 – The curse of knowledge
Participants who have more knowledge and expertise in a particular subject area can find it almost impossible to think about it from the perspective of a participant who is completely ignorant about the subject matter. 

3 – Reactive devaluation
Participants’ evaluations of other’s suggestions can be negatively influenced by the simple fact that it was made by an adversary or someone with an opposing perspective. 

4 – In-group bias
Participants tend to give more positive evaluations to suggestions from members of their own group – even when the groupings are arbitrary or irrelevant.

5 – Shared information bias
Participants often spend more time debating issues that all are familiar with, as opposed to issues that only a minority of participants are aware of. 

At Silverman Research, we took these socio-cognitive challenges on board when designing Crowdoscope. To find out more, please feel free to view our most recent Webinar, get in touch at or request a free trial.
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