One of the crowd or one of a kind? New artificial intelligence research indicates were a bit of both: Evidence that behaviour follow a two-step process when were in a crowd

An Aston University computer scientist has used artificial intelligence (AI) to show that we are not as individual as we may like to think.

In the late 1960s, famous psychologist Stanley Milgram demonstrated that if a person sees a crowd looking in one direction, they’re likely to follow their gaze.

Now, Dr Ulysses Bernardet in the Computer Science Research Group at Aston University, collaborating with experts from Belgium and Germany, has found evidence that our actions follow a two-step process when we’re in a crowd.

Their results, “Evidence for a two-step model of social group influence” published in iScience show that we go through a two-stage process, where we’re more likely to imitate a crowd first and think independently second.

The researchers believe their findings will increase the understanding of how humans make decisions based on what others are doing.

To test this idea the academics created an immersive virtual reality (VR) experiment set in a simulated city street.

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