This one is about the power of the individual, the authors are Makan Amini, Mathias Ekström, Tore Ellingsen, Magnus Johannesson, and Fredrik Strömsten:
Failure to express minority views may distort the behavior of company boards, committees, juries, and other decision-making bodies. Devising a new experimental procedure to measure such conformity in a judgment task, we compare the degree of conformity in groups with varying gender composition. Overall, our experiments offer little evidence that gender composition affects expression of minority views. A robust finding is that a subject’s lack of ability predicts both a true propensity to accept others’ judgment (informational social influence) and a propensity to agree despite private doubt (normative social influence). Thus, as an antidote to conformity in our experiments, high individual ability seems more effective than group diversity.
The co-editor on the paper was John List, a paragon of both innovation and self-criticism, but perhaps we need to ask a diverse focus group instead…
For the pointer I thank the excellent Kevin Lewis.