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Understanding Wisdom: Works and Studies Essay (Critical Writing)

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Becker, J., Brackbill, D., & Centola, D. (2017). Network dynamics of social influence in the wisdom of crowds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(26), E5070-E5076.

Interestingly, this study was conducted to comprehend and determine why people tend to make wise decisions while in groups rather than by themselves, hence terming the research “wisdom of crowds” (Galton, 1907). The authors apply the collective intelligence nature theories, which suggest that the group judgments accuracy requires the parties or people to be either diverse, with negatively correlated beliefs, or independent with uncorrelated thoughts. The authors refer to the previous experimental studies which support the view that social influences critically undermine crowds’ wisdom. The results exemplified that individuals’ estimates become correlated or more similar when the participants observed one another’s beliefs, hence reducing diversity without exponentially increasing the group accuracy (Lorenz et al., 2011). Contrary, the study focuses on showing the general network circumstances under which social or group influence advances the specific groups’ accuracy despite individual beliefs becoming similar. The authors present experimental results and theoretical predictions, which indicate that group evaluations become more correct in decentralized networks of communication due to information exchange. The research further demonstrates that the group dynamics accuracy is dependent on the network structure. The researchers discovered that in centralized networks, where central persons’ influence controls the joint estimation procedure, errors are probable to be profound in the subsequent group estimates.

Santos, H. C., Huynh, A. C., & Grossmann, I. (2017). Wisdom in a complex world: A situated account of wise reasoning and its development. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 11(10), e12341.

This study was conducted to understand how different social issues require individuals to engage in high levels of wisdom. The authors opine that social problems, including interpersonal conflicts, economic decisions, and partisan politics, critically involve trade-offs, hence requiring wise people to make appropriate decisions since wrong choices might lead to devastating consequences. It further mentions that social issues have complex answers, whereby wise reasoning can exuberate excellent outcomes. The researchers state that people must integrate intelligent sense, embracing a set of metacognitive approaches which guide them towards balancing different interests and managing complexity to make discernible decisions. The research reviews the recent study on astute reasoning, together with evidence apposite to wisdom’s state-specific and trait-like features, how it fluctuates athwart circumstances, and how an individual can exactly develop it. Finally, this research leans to the empirical studies suggesting that scientists can comprehend wisdom better by applying its positioned nature crosswise contexts and time.

References

Becker, J., Brackbill, D., & Centola, D. (2017). Network dynamics of social influence in the wisdom of crowds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(26), E5070-E5076. Web.

Santos, H. C., Huynh, A. C., & Grossmann, I. (2017). Wisdom in a complex world: A situated account of wise reasoning and its development. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 11(10), e12341. Web.

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