Study: Diversity improves group decisions

April 10, 2006

Tufts University scientists say they've determined diverse groups perform better than homogenous groups when it comes to decision making.

The researchers say they believe that's due largely to dramatic differences in the way whites behave in diverse groups -- changes that occur even before group members begin to interact.

"Traditional arguments in favor of diversity often focus on ethics, morality and constitutionality," said Samuel Sommers, assistant professor of psychology. "I wanted to look at the observable effects of diversity on performance."

In a study involving 200 participants on 29 mock juries, panels of whites and blacks performed better than all-white groups, using a number of measures.

"Such diverse juries deliberated longer, raised more facts about the case, and conducted broader and more wide-ranging deliberations," said Sommers. "They also made fewer factual errors in discussing evidence and when errors did occur, those errors were more likely to be corrected during the discussion."

The study is detailed in the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: 'Magic pools' approach can hurry studies of novel bacteria

Related Stories

Data mining to protect water quality in southeast Ohio

January 4, 2018

Tapping into its water-quality expertise, Ohio University's Appalachian Watershed Research Group (AWRG) is assessing data collected from regional mining operations in a first-of-its-kind study, to better predict how groundwater ...

Recommended for you

Cells lacking nuclei struggle to move in 3-D environments

January 20, 2018

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have revealed new details of how the physical properties of the nucleus influence how cells can move around different environments - such as ...

Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency

January 19, 2018

Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine's efficiency ...

Team takes a deep look at memristors

January 19, 2018

In the race to build a computer that mimics the massive computational power of the human brain, researchers are increasingly turning to memristors, which can vary their electrical resistance based on the memory of past activity. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.