The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2007 - Social Science - 424 pages
2 Reviews

In this landmark book, Scott Page redefines the way we understand ourselves in relation to one another. The Difference is about how we think in groups--and how our collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. Why can teams of people find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone? And why are the best group decisions and predictions those that draw upon the very qualities that make each of us unique? The answers lie in diversity--not what we look like outside, but what we look like within, our distinct tools and abilities.



The Difference reveals that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality. Page shows how groups that display a range of perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts. Diversity yields superior outcomes, and Page proves it using his own cutting-edge research. Moving beyond the politics that cloud standard debates about diversity, he explains why difference beats out homogeneity, whether you're talking about citizens in a democracy or scientists in the laboratory. He examines practical ways to apply diversity's logic to a host of problems, and along the way offers fascinating and surprising examples, from the redesign of the Chicago "El" to the truth about where we store our ketchup.


Page changes the way we understand diversity--how to harness its untapped potential, how to understand and avoid its traps, and how we can leverage our differences for the benefit of all.


 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

One criticism of efforts to increase diversity in the workplace and other contexts suggests that attention should be on individual ability rather than on group differences. Page offers a logical and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nnschiller - LibraryThing

Referred through a link from Weinberger's Too big to know Read full review

Contents

Diverse Perspectives How We See Things
23
Heuristics Do the Opposite
52
Interpretations Our Own Private Flatland
73
Predictive Models Judging Books by Their Covers
90
Measuring Sticks and Toolboxes Calipers for the Brain
103
DIVERSITYS BENEFITS BUILDING FROM TOOLS
129
Diversity and Problem Solving Darwins Brass Tacks
131
Models of Information Aggregation Mindless Signals
175
Preference Aggregation Four Not So Depressing Results
255
Interacting Toolboxes and Preferences Go Ask Alice
285
THE PUDDING DOES DIVERSITY GENERATE BENEFITS?
297
The Causes of Cognitive Diversity Family Vacations College or Identity?
299
The Empirical Evidence The Pudding
313
GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE
337
A Fertile Logic Putting Ideas to Work
339
The Ketchup Questions
371

Diversity and Prediction The Crowd of Models
197
DIVERSE VALUES A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS OR IS IT?
237
Diverse Preferences Why Tapas
239
Notes
377
Index
411
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page viii - ... in the development of the Earth, in the development of Life upon its surface, in the development of Society, of Government, of Manufactures, of Commerce, of Language, Literature, Science, Art, this same evolution of the simple into the complex, through successive differentiations, holds throughout. From the earliest traceable cosmical changes down to the latest results of civilization, we shall find that the transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous, is that in which Progress essentially...
Page 1 - You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.
Page xix - Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question Oh, do not ask, "What is it?".

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2007)

Scott E. Page is Associate Professor of Political Science, Complex Systems, and Economics at the University of Michigan.

Bibliographic information