Tim de Wilde: "Struggling to decide. Competition in group decision-making"

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Tim de Wilde: "Struggling to decide. Competition in group decision-making"

On November 16, 2017 Tim de Wilde successfully defended the PhD thesis entitled "Struggling to decide. Competition in group decision-making" at University of Amsterdam.

Prof.dr. C.K.W. de Dreu

Dr. F.S. ten Velden


This dissertation underlines the critical and damaging role of competition within groups on group decision-making. Competition promotes advocacy of one’s own preferences, biased exchange of information and less use of relevant information coming from outsiders. Such negative effects of competition can be reduced or made undone by addressing individual group members instead of whole groups, or by facilitating competition between groups.
Most importantly however, this dissertation demonstrated the effectiveness of using cooperative, instead of competitive, incentives. Cooperation facilitates the unbiased exchange and use of all available information. When such information is irrelevant, cooperative groups are likely to flounder, yet in most cases cooperation increases groups’ chances of reaching high quality decisions. Thus, under cooperation, groups show their unique potential in reaching outcomes that none of its individual members could have achieved with the same level of certainty.
Making good decisions as a group is almost always a struggle. Such struggles are often a prelude for success when groups are cooperative or a prelude for misfortune when groups are competitive.

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