Western society is focused on the power of the individual mind, but under the right circumstances, groups can actually make better decisions than even the smartest person within them. When individuals in a crowd are appropriately diverse, independent and decentralized, their aggregated decisions are surprisingly on point. With this knowledge, the power of groups can be used to find unknown answers and determine how to coordi- nate behavior and cooperate in all areas of society. Our everyday activities, our government and our economy are all affected by the power of crowds, and when things go awry, it is often because one of the key elements of an intelligent crowd is missing or underexpressed.
In The Wisdom of Crowds, journalist James Surowiecki explores the underlying implications of the idea that large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant.