Heterogeneous thinkers may possess quick decision-making: Study

Communication, also known as a process of exchanging information is very crucial for living

Florida: A recent mathematical indagation has come up with a new perspective claiming that a group of people with different information may possess better decision-making process than a group of people with homogeneous thoughts.

Communication, also known as a process of exchanging information is very crucial for living. Florida State University has come up with recent research on the same.

Bhargav Karamched, assistant professor of mathematics, and a team of researchers published a new study explaining the decision-making process of groups and the dynamics that make for fast and accurate decision making. He found that networks consisting of both impulsive and deliberate individuals made, on average, quicker and better decisions than a group with homogenous thinkers.

In groups with impulsive and deliberate individuals, the first decision is made quickly by an impulsive individual who needs little evidence to make a choice,” Karamched said. “But, even when wrong, this fast decision can reveal the correct options to everyone else. This is not the case in homogenous groups.

According to a research paper of Physical Review Letters, researchers noted that the exchange of information is crucial in a variety of biological and social functions. But Karamched contradicted the same and explained, “Although, information sharing in networks has been studied quite a bit, very little work has been done on how individuals in a network should integrate information from their peers with their own private evidence accumulation. Most of the studies, both theoretical and experimental, have focused on how isolated individuals optimally gather evidence to make a choice.”

“This work was motivated by that,” Karamched said. “How should individuals optimally accumulate evidence they see for themselves with evidence they obtain from their peers to make the best possible decisions?”

Kresimir Josi, Moores Professor of Mathematics, Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston and senior author of the study, noted that the process works best when individuals in a group make the most of their varied backgrounds to collect the necessary materials and knowledge to make a final decision.

“Collective social decision making is valuable if all individuals have access to different types of information,” Josi said.

According to Karamched, a mathematical model was not enough to reach his conclusion and plenty of room is required for follow-up research.

Karamched said that his model assumes that evidence accrued by one individual is independent of evidence collected by another member of the group. If a group of individuals is trying to make a decision based on information that is available to everyone, additional modelling would need to account for how correlations in the information affect collective decision-making.

“For example, to choose between voting Republican or Democrat in an election, the information available to everyone is common and not specifically made for one individual,” he said. “Including correlations will require developing novel techniques to analyze models we develop.”

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