Grants:IEG/Research: The psychology of collaborative editing

status: idea
Research: The psychology of collaborative editing
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This project aims at finding the answer to the research question, "How does group pressure affect decision making of unbiased users in achieving consensus in Wikipedia?"
created on: 19:36, 7 February 2013‎

Project idea


This project aims at researching on the personality traits of the users editing Wikipedia. Individual users can be contacted on their talk pages and asked to fill up the questionnaire containing questions designed to assess the role of group pressure in decision making. The responses of the participants of the survey may be recorded and analyzed using spreadsheets and results are published on meta. (The idea needs further elaboration)

  • Three or more language Wikipedias will be chosen for the research.
  • Only those Wikipedias which have a dynamic community and good article count need be chosen for the study.
  • Questions to evaluate traits like herd mentality, groupthink, normative social influence, milieu control may be specifically asked for.
  • The users who have not yet made any edits on Wikipedia talk pages may be excluded from the study.

Project goals

  • Determine if the individual editors are biased to echo the popular opinion while taking part in discussions involving achieving a consensus.
  • Study the differences in the community dynamics and editor psychology in different language Wikipedias.
  • Develop ways to build active language communities with unbiased opinions, make consensus building an easy process and decrease the community time spent for unproductive discussions.

Open questions

  • Have you done this sort of research before? Would you plan on getting the results published? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:12, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I have done questionnaire based researches in the past, but not one that deals with psychology. I would like it if those planning to undertake this research get it published on meta. As of now, I do not have the time and resources to work on this idea individually. --Netha Hussain (talk) 15:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi Netha, I am a psycholohist and I have experience un research in my field. I am interested. You know that you can find me at Spanish WP. --Jaluj (talk) 01:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi Jaluj, I have left a message on your talk page on meta. Nice to know that you are interested in working on this project!--Netha Hussain (talk) 17:33, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I may be interested in helping out. I don't have any psychology experience, but I do with animal behavior, which at least is somewhat closely related. If this is done well and if someone with psychology experience could help out the results may be publishable in an academic journal. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 15:08, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I have some background in this area through my collaboration on the "Mind the Gap" research project. What benefits do you think would be gained from the research that you propose? --Pine 06:09, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

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