This paper presents experimental evidence about how effectively individuals learn from information coming from heterogeneous sources. In the experiment, Thai subjects observed information that came from Americans and from other Thais that they could use to help them answer a series of questions. Despite listening too little to either group, subjects demonstrated a significant amount of statistical sophistication in how they weighed observed American information relative to observed Thai information. The data indicate that subjects understood that outside information has extra value because people from the same group tend to make the same kinds of mistakes. The results illustrate the importance of forming diverse groups to solve problems.
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Experimental Economics following peer review. The version of record: Healy, Andrew. 2009. “How Effectively Do People Learn from a Variety of Different Opinions?” Experimental Economics 12(4): 386-416. is available online at: DOI: 10.1007/s10683-009-9220-1.
Healy, Andrew. 2009. “How Effectively Do People Learn from a Variety of Different Opinions?” Experimental Economics 12(4): 386-416.