Trusting computers more than people

Algorithms run our world in many ways, from cars to social networks, and even medical recommendation. The researchers in the study below asked whether people would rather trust another person or an algorithm, and the results may be surprising to some, while not to others, but they are relevant to anyone, particularly those with an interest in psychology and interpersonal communication.

The investigators in the study devised three experiments, which focused on an intellective task with a correct answer and found that subjects relied more on algorithmic advice as difficulty increased. This effect persisted even after controlling for the quality of the advice, the numeracy and accuracy of the subjects, and whether subjects were exposed to only one source of advice or both sources. Subjects also tended to more strongly disregard inaccurate advice labelled as algorithmic compared to equally inaccurate advice labelled as coming from a crowd of peers.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-87480-9

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