NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED524085
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 267
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-9688-9
The Cognitive Authority of Collective Intelligence
Goldman, James L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Drexel University
Collaboration tools based on World Wide Web technologies now enable and encourage large groups of people who do not previously know one another, and who may share no other affiliation, to work together cooperatively and often anonymously on large information projects such as online encyclopedias and complex websites. Making use of information created by these projects depends on perceptions of its credibility and quality. Advocates of collective intelligence champion the idea that with enough eyeballs reviewing and revising collaboratively-authored information, any errors and omissions are likely to be found and corrected. An important question for information science and for content producers/distributors is whether users share that view. In this three-factor laboratory study, participants were asked to read and then answer questions about the content and quality of two articles. Participants were randomly exposed to one of two indicated authoring conditions: an identified single author with subject matter expertise, or material that originated from a "Wiki-style" website. Additionally, participants were randomly exposed to one of three possible hints of the material's authority: a chart showing the history of Web download activity, a list of references linked to sources on the World Wide Web, or neither hint. One article presented factual technical material; the other made a persuasive argument. Participants exposed to indications of conventional authorship found the material to have been of generally higher quality than participants exposed to the same material authored Wiki-style. The chart of activity was an indicator of quality for the conventional authoring condition, while the list of references filled that role in the Wiki-style condition. Participants who use the Web more frequently were more critical of Wiki-style sources, and especially so in the case of the persuasive article. Men were more critical of Wiki-style sources than women were. People prefer information that they perceive is credible. For reinforcing perceptions of credibility, results suggest that practitioners working in collective intelligence do as much as they can to pierce the veil of anonymity that surrounds publicly-authored works by including more information about the authors, and by better describing the information's editorial activity and usage. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A