New research from Tufts University indicates that diverse groups perform better than homogenous groups when it comes to decision making...
"Traditional arguments in favor of diversity often focus on ethics, morality and constitutionality," said Samuel R. Sommers, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. "I wanted to look at the observable effects of diversity on performance."
In a study involving 200 participants on 29 mock juries, panels of whites and blacks performed better than all-white groups by a number of measures. "Such diverse juries deliberated longer, raised more facts about the case, and conducted broader and more wide-ranging deliberations," said Sommers. "They also made fewer factual errors in discussing evidence and when errors did occur, those errors were more likely to be corrected during the discussion."
Surprisingly, this difference was primarily due to significant changes in white behavior. Whites on diverse juries cited more case facts, made fewer mistakes in recalling facts and evidence, and pointed out missing evidence more frequently than did those on all-white juries. They were also more amenable to discussing racism when in diverse groups.