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 groupsand 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 diversitynot 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 diversityhow to harness its untapped potential, how to understand and avoid its traps, and how we can leverage our differences for the benefit of all.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Edition description:||New edition with a New preface by the author|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Scott E. Page is professor of complex systems, political science, and economics at the University of Michigan and an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. He is the coauthor, with John Miller, of Complex Adaptive Systems.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Paperback Edition
Prufrock Avoided xiii
The Continuous Life xix
How Diversity Trumps Ability
Fun at Caltech xxv
Unpacking Our Differences 1
PART ONE: UNPACKING THE TOOLBOX
CHAPTER 1: Diverse Perspectives How We See Things 23
CHAPTER 2: Heuristics Do the Opposite 52
CHAPTER 3: Interpretations Our Own Private Flatland 73
CHAPTER 4: Predictive Models Judging Books by Their Covers 90
CHAPTER 5: Measuring Sticks and Toolboxes Calipers for the Brain 103
PART TWO: DIVERSITY'S BENEFITS: BUILDING FROM TOOLS
CHAPTER 6: Diversity and Problem Solving Darwin's Brass Tacks 131
CHAPTER 7: Models of Information Aggregation Mindless Signals 175
CHAPTER 8: Diversity and Prediction The Crowd of Models 197
PART THREE: DIVERSE VALUES: A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS (OR IS IT)?
CHAPTER 9: Diverse Preferences Why Tapas 239
CHAPTER 10: Preference Aggregation Four (Not So) Depressing Results 255
CHAPTER 11: Interacting Toolboxes and Preferences Go Ask Alice 285
PART FOUR: THE PUDDING: DOES DIVERSITY GENERATE BENEFITS?
CHAPTER 12: The Causes of Cognitive Diversity Family Vacations, College, or Identity? 299
CHAPTER 13: The Empirical Evidence The Pudding 313
PART FIVE: GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE
CHAPTER 14: A Fertile Logic Putting Ideas to Work 339
Epilogue: The Ketchup Questions 371
What People are Saying About This
Scott Page has brought to our attention a practically important proposition: diversity of viewpoints is of the greatest importance in solving the problems that face us individually and collectively. Diversity among a group of problem solvers is more important than individual excellence. Page's exposition remarkably combines lightness and breadth of knowledge with rigor and evidence.
Kenneth J. Arrow, Nobel Prize-winning economist
Scott Page knows more about diversity than anyone anywhere. In The Difference, he shows why diversity matters, how it leads to better outcomes, and most importantly why achieving the significant benefits of diversity requires thinking well beyond traditional categories such as race, gender, or ethnicity. Knowledge of this book should be a litmus test for educators and diversity trainersif you haven't read it, you are just talking metaphor. Stop playing defense and start playing offense by buying this book.
Bill Miller, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Legg Mason Capital Management
The book is brilliant. Page has a dazzling eclecticism.
Max Bazerman, Harvard Business School
Does diversity trump ability when it comes to problem solving? Scott Page shows that the answer is, at least sometimes, yes. You'd do better to add more diversity of perspectives to your problem-solving team than to increase the average ability of individual team members. Diversity in both experience and identity can spark a group's creativity. Page pursues the logic of diversity and shows why and when hiring people who differ can lead to a better bottom line.
Ian Ayres, coauthor of "Why Not? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small"