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Following the crowd supports democracy
Date:12/16/2011

blue, but with a weaker focus on this colour: The whole shoal swam towards the yellow target.

However, when, in a second series of tests, the researchers introduced five or ten untrained fish, these altered the outcome of the collective decision. Despite their strong predilection, the fish trained to prefer yellow were unable to prevail. The untrained and therefore uninformed fish sided with the majority, and all of them then headed for the blue disc.

When transferred to humans, this means that uninformed and therefore undecided individuals play an important role in collective decisions. They can facilitate a democratic outcome and prevent a minority from taking control. However, the calculations also show that the number of uninformed individuals must not be excessive. In such cases, decisions are no longer predictable and follow a random pattern.


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Contact: Dr. Thilo Gross
thilo2gross@gmail.com
44-117-331-5151
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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