Making a Wiser Crowd: Benefits of Individual Metacognitive Control on Crowd Performance

Stephen T. Bennett, Aaron S. Benjamin, Percy K. Mistry, Mark Steyvers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wisdom of the crowd refers to the finding that judgments aggregated over individuals are typically more accurate than the average individual’s judgment. Here, we examine the potential for improving crowd judgments by allowing individuals to choose which of a set of queries to respond to. If individuals’ metacognitive assessments of what they know is accurate, allowing individuals to opt in to questions of interest or expertise has the potential to create a more informed knowledge base over which to aggregate. This prediction was confirmed: crowds composed of volunteered judgments were more accurate than crowds composed of forced judgments. Overall, allowing individuals to use private metacognitive knowledge holds much promise in enhancing judgments, including those of the crowd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
JournalComputational Brain and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Metacognition
  • Self-direction
  • Wisdom of the crowd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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