The contingent wisdom of dyads: When discussion enhances vs. undermines the accuracy of collaborative judgments

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We evaluate the effect of discussion on the accuracy of collaborative judgments. In contrast to prior research, we show that discussion can either aid or impede accuracy relative to the averaging of collaborators' independent judgments, as a systematic function of task type and interaction process. For estimation tasks with a wide range of potential estimates, discussion aided accuracy by helping participants prevent and eliminate egregious errors. For estimation tasks with a naturally bounded range, discussion following independent estimates performed on par with averaging. Importantly, if participants did not first make independent estimates, discussion greatly harmed accuracy by limiting the range of considered estimates, independent of task type. Our research shows that discussion can be a powerful tool for error reduction, but only when appropriately structured: Decision makers should formindependent judgments to consider a wide range of possible answers, and then use discussion to eliminate extremely large errors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Minson, JA; Mueller, JS; Larrick, RP

Published Date

  • September 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 4177 - 4192

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-5501

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-1909

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/mnsc.2017.2823

Citation Source

  • Scopus