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Siwen Pan

Doctor of Philosophy, (Economics)
Study Completed: 2016
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
Frontiers in Decision Theory

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The advancement in collective decision-making suggests that the quality of a group's decision outperforms that of an individual; and assumes that simple majority is superior to unanimity as it reduces the incidence of errors in collective decisions by decision-makers voting strategically. However, these findings appear to be highly sensitive to the conventional but unrealistic assumption that decision-makers use information whose reliability is precisely measured. Ms Pan challenged these commonly held views. By relaxing the unrealistic assumption they rely upon, she derived analytical and numerical predictions from theoretical models of voting under ambiguity and tested them in a human-subjects experiment. She demonstrated that unanimity may indeed outperform majority voting in more realistic scenarios than those analysed in previous studies. Her findings advance our knowledge of collective deliberation processes and help the institutional design of a variety of voting platforms, from small-to-large size ones, for example, from jury trials to referenda.

Dr Simona Fabrizi
Associate Professor Matthew Ryan
Professor Thomas Pfeiffer