Micro-bias and macro-performance

S. M.D. Seaver, A. A. Moreira, M. Sales-Pardo, R. D. Malmgren, D. Diermeier, L. A.N. Amaral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We use agent-based modeling to investigate the effect of conservatism and partisanship on the efficiency with which large populations solve the density classification task - a paradigmatic problem for information aggregation and consensus building. We find that conservative agents enhance the populations' ability to efficiently solve the density classification task despite large levels of noise in the system. In contrast, we find that the presence of even a small fraction of partisans holding the minority position will result in deadlock or a consensus on an incorrect answer. Our results provide a possible explanation for the emergence of conservatism and suggest that even low levels of partisanship can lead to significant social costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Physical Journal B
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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