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handoflixue comments on Asch's Conformity Experiment - Less Wrong

20 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 26 December 2007 07:03AM

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Comment author: handoflixue 24 May 2011 11:53:11PM *  1 point [-]

"I hope I would notice my own severe confusion and then assign >50% probability to the majority vote."

On a group level, I wouldn't think it's a particularly rational path to mimic the majority, even if you believe that they're honestly reporting. If you had a group of, say, 10 people, and the first 5 all gave the wrong answer, there would then be a rational impetuous for everyone subsequent to mimic that wrong answer on the logic that "the last (5-9) people all said C, so clearly p(C) > 0.5".

Far better to dissent and provide the group with new information.

Comment author: pnrjulius 09 April 2012 05:49:22AM 1 point [-]

Ooh, that's really interesting. The best solution might actually be to say the full statement, "I see B as equal, but since the other 5 people before me said C, C is probably objectively more likely." Then future people after you can still hear what you saw, independently of what you inferred based on others.

But I think there are a lot of other really interesting problems embedded in this, involving the feedback between semi-Bayesians trying to use each other to process evidence. (True Bayesians get the right answer; but what answer to semi-Bayesians get?)