herd mentality

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kiryan
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herd mentality

Postby kiryan » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:59 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/15/so ... index.html

basically, people will change their answers if they believe the consensus view is different... theoretically because there is a survival advantage to being part of a community. Brain scans show that when you have a differing opinion, the "oops" area of the brain receives more stimulus and the "reward" decreased activity.

They also touch on committee decision making and jury decisions that emphasize unamanous decisions. They suggest that this skews results and more truthful results may require changes.

I wonder what that says about folks who consistently argue against the majority. I wonder if they've grown to prefer the "oops" stimulus and actively seek it out.

I wonder if this has any implications in society and government. Societies that actively supress opinion and encourage conformity. Do you eventually get a society of people who try to be different for difference sake? Looking around, I'd say no thats not true, societies like China and Japan are still very conformist after decades while societies like the US seem to be among the most contrarian.

anyhow random thought for the day.
avak
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Re: herd mentality

Postby avak » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:11 pm

I've heard about these kind of findings before, but I was just at a board meeting this weekend and reading that post hit a nerve. As the chair, I run the meetings and we rarely, rarely have votes that are not unanimous. Even when we have a dissenting vote, it is usually just placed for the sake of the record. The person just wants it made known that there were concerns. They certainly don't mean to disrupt the vote.

I wonder what would happen if we implemented a system of electronic voting. Each board member has a yes/no button in front of them that the results of which are only seen by the chair. I bet it would be a lot more interesting.

The funniest thing is actually when there is a contentious vote. You see these looks of horror on the faces of people that are so accustomed to voting with the majority and they don't know what to do! They look around the room frantically, trying to get a read on the vote.
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Re: herd mentality

Postby Sarvis » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:21 pm

avak wrote:I wonder what would happen if we implemented a system of electronic voting. Each board member has a yes/no button in front of them that the results of which are only seen by the chair. I bet it would be a lot more interesting.


So do it. Just have everyone send you a quick email of their vote from their laptop.
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Re: herd mentality

Postby Corth » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:32 pm

One thing that kind of touches on this. I read a few years ago that in Israel, there is an "Office of The Devil's Advocate", which is required to take the contrary policy position on all important matters and present its reasoning. I always thought that was an excellent idea. However, when I tried to google it just now I couldn't find anything. If it doesn't exist, it should. :)
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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avak
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Re: herd mentality

Postby avak » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:42 pm

I was thinking we could all have characters on the mud and form a group. Then people could just mwrite me like bids.

This idea would serve the dual purpose of doubling the pbase.
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Re: herd mentality

Postby Ragorn » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:42 pm

Corth wrote:One thing that kind of touches on this. I read a few years ago that in Israel, there is an "Office of The Devil's Advocate", which is required to take the contrary policy position on all important matters and present its reasoning. I always thought that was an excellent idea. However, when I tried to google it just now I couldn't find anything. If it doesn't exist, it should. :)

On the other hand, if the position is appointed by the president, I'd be worried about a shill being put into the position to present ineffective arguments "framing" the other side.
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Re: herd mentality

Postby Corth » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:54 pm

Interesting point. I suppose a certain amount of good faith is required to benefit from it as a means of forming good policy. Perhaps if it was a sort of 'classified' position that couldn't be used for popular consumption but just for internal debate. Then there would be no need to appoint a shill.

I appreciate the basic idea of it. It assumes that group-think is inevitable and unless you structure your organization so that someone is forced to take a contrary position, you aren't likely to hear one.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



Goddamned slippery mage.
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Re: herd mentality

Postby Tasan » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:29 am

I'm willing to do this job. Please support my candidacy.
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kiryan
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Re: herd mentality

Postby kiryan » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:57 am

I like the idea. We should have a devils advocate for Toril development.

The problem with the devils advocate is that you end up losing respect of those you work with defeating the whole purpose. You get to speak, but you don't get heard. It takes a strong leader who forces his team to respect every idea and point of view to get anything other than a yes man mentality.

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