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Does interaction matter? Testing whether a confidence heuristic can replace interaction in collective decision-making

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In a range of contexts, individuals arrive at collective decisions by sharing confidence in their judgements. This tendency to evaluate the reliability of information by the confidence with which it is expressed has been termed the 'confidence heuristic'. We tested two ways of implementing the confidence heuristic in the context of a collective perceptual decision-making task: either directly, by opting for the judgement made with higher confidence, or indirectly, by opting for the faster judgement, exploiting an inverse correlation between confidence and reaction time. We found that the success of these heuristics depends on how similar individuals are in terms of the reliability of their opinions and, more importantly, that for dissimilar individuals such heuristics are dramatically inferior to interaction. Interaction allows individuals to alleviate, but not fully resolve, differences in the reliability of their opinions. We discuss the implications of these findings for models of confidence and collective decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Volume26
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
ISSN1053-8100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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