The diversity bonus in pooling local knowledge about complex problems
View ORCID ProfilePayam Aminpour, Steven A. Gray, Alison Singer, Steven B. Scyphers, Antonie J. Jetter, Rebecca Jordan, Robert Murphy Jr, and Jonathan H. GrabowskiPNAS February 2, 2021 118 (5) e2016887118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2016887118Add to Cart ($10)
- Edited by Matthew O. Jackson, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved November 4, 2020 (received for review August 14, 2020)
Groups can collectively achieve an augmented cognitive capability that enables them to effectively tackle complex problems. Importantly, researchers have hypothesized that this group property—frequently known as collective intelligence—may be improved in functionally more diverse groups. This paper illustrates the importance of diversity for representing complex interdependencies in a social-ecological system. In an experiment with local stakeholders of a fishery ecosystem, groups with higher diversity—those with well-mixed members from diverse types of stakeholders—collectively produced more complex models of human–environment interactions which were more closely matched scientific expert opinions. These findings have implications for advancing the use of local knowledge in understanding complex sustainability problems, while also promoting the inclusion of diverse stakeholders for increasing management success.