The Social Group as an Information Processing System

  • Andrzej Nowak
  • Robin Vallacher
  • Agnieszka Rychwalska
  • Magdalena Roszczyńska-Kurasińska
  • Karolina Ziembowicz
  • Mikołaj Biesaga
  • Marta Kacprzyk-Murawska
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Complexity book series (BRIEFSCOMPLEXITY)


This chapter takes the theory to the group level, using computer simulations to analyze social influence as socially distributed information processing. In so doing, this line of research identifies conditions under which the delegation of processing to others can lead to errors, resulting in opinions and decisions that are counter-productive and sometimes disastrous for the group. Trust is a dynamic variable that plays the role of the control parameter in the delegation of information processing. When the level of trust is optimal, the process results in accurate judgments and effective use of the group’s processing resources. Trust, however, is not always optimal, but rather can be too high or too low. When trust is too high, the process tends to promote over-confidence and erroneous judgments. When trust is too low, the process become inefficient and promotes the redundant processing of information.


Agent-based model Assumption of coherence, Attitude Bounded confidence Distributed cognition Distributed information processing Echo-chambers Filter bubbles, Judgment Group optimization Groupthink Latitude of acceptance Opinion dynamics Optimal trust Overtrust Socially distributed information processing Social groups 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej Nowak
    • 1
  • Robin Vallacher
    • 2
  • Agnieszka Rychwalska
    • 3
  • Magdalena Roszczyńska-Kurasińska
    • 3
  • Karolina Ziembowicz
    • 4
  • Mikołaj Biesaga
    • 3
  • Marta Kacprzyk-Murawska
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology Institute for Social StudiesUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  3. 3.The Robert Zajonc Institute for Social StudiesUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland
  4. 4.The Maria Grzegorzewska UniversityWarsawPoland

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