Uninformed individuals important for a democracy
Democratic consensus can be reached with the help of uninformed individuals.
You may think that for a democracy to function, voters ideally are interested and informed about the matter. Uninformed individuals may be less ideal, because they are considered most vulnerable to manipulation by a strongly opinionated minority. A recent study by researchers of Princeton University studied the dynamics and influence of the presence of minority, majority, and uninformed groups on consensus within a group.
In line with present thinking, a strongly opinionated minority can indeed dictate decision processes. However, when uninformed individuals are present, these individuals will follow the majority and let majority rule instead of the strongly opinionated minority. Numbers thus seem to count more in the choice of an uninformed individual than strength of opinion.
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Couzin, I.D., Ioannou, C.C., Demirel, G., Gross, T., Torney, C.J., Hartnett, A., Conradt, L., Levin, S.A., & Leonard, N.E. (2011). Uninformed individuals promote democratic consensus in animal groups. Science, 334, 1578-1580.