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When following the leader can lead into the jaws of death
Date:5/12/2008

een shown in so-called higher animals with relatively complex brains. The quorum decision rule is simple, but extremely effective, and it has important implications for human decision-making. In fact some of the group who have worked on the fish research have recently shown that groups of humans can be persuaded to take group decision guided by just one informed individual.

We chose to test quorum decision-making with fish because they're easier to work with, but although we tend to think that we are more complex than fish in our decision-making, the reality is that we're more similar to them than we may choose to admit!

Much human action is driven by simple decision rules and our work illustrates how those rules are common throughout the animal kingdom. A better understanding of this decision-making mechanism in humans and other animals helps us understand how people behave in crowds and shows why sometimes people in groups do apparently stupid things, such as stand in the street and stare skyward when theres nothing to see, just because someone else is doing it.


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Contact: Paul J. B. Hart
44-011-625-23348
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert  

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