Making sense of the collective intelligence field: A review


  • klaus Solberg Söilen



Collective intelligence, social intelligence, social systems, wisdom of crowds


The problem we want to solve is to find out what is new in the collective intelligence literature and how it is to be understood alongside other social science disciplines. The reason it is important is that collective intelligence and problems of collaboration seem familiar in the social sciences but do not necessarily fit into any of the established disciplines. Also, collective intelligence is often associated with the notion of wisdom of crowds, which demands scrutiny. We found that the collective intelligence field is valuable, truly interdisciplinary, and part of a paradigm shift in the social sciences. However, the content is not new, as suggested by the comparison with social intelligence, which is often uncritical and lacking in the data it shows and that the notion of the wisdom of crowds is misleading (RQ1). The study of social systems is still highly relevant for social scientists and scholars of collective intelligence as an alternative methodology to more traditional social science paradigms as found, for example, in the study of business or management (RQ2).


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