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Submissions/Lessons from psychology about wiki communities

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Lessons from psychology about wiki communities

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

Dr Martin Poulter

E-mail address




Country of origin

United Kingdom

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Employed by the University of Bristol and University of Oxford but not speaking for anyone in any official capacity

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Decades of research in experimental social psychology and in the study of human judgement and decision-making has illuminated errors and distortions that human beings are subject to. These go under names including confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and attribution error. This short talk looks at how these psychological biases and errors can obstruct collaborative work of the type we do in Wikimedia. It assesses how well community policies and processes compensate for those biases. Some aspects of wiki collaboration minimise common biases, while other features make those biases more of a problem. Such systematic psychological errors are key to understanding how conflict can escalate. The talk will illustrate, and get the audience using, a simple framework for thinking about how these biases and how they could be made less damaging.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Will be provided
Special requests


Interested attendees

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  1. CT Cooper · talk 21:41, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 21:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Orderinchaos (talk) 22:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Ocaasi (talk) 23:33, 4 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. --Atropine (talk) 23:39, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. guillom (talk) 23:54, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Mrjohncummings (talk) 21:59, 9 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 06:38, 23 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Add your username here.