The Apprentice and Group Identity

The final two candidates in Donald Trump’s The Apprentice lead two teams through a task.  Every year Donald asks the respective team members who should win.  If the members answered objectively then each team should split in about the same proportion.  Yet almost invariably the members of each team tell Donald that the candidate that led them in the last task is the best. 

This is an interesting example of how easily our own identity can become tied to that of a group.  We are the Red team, and the Red Team leader is the best.  The Robber’s Cave may be more difficult to exit than Plato’s cave.

The failure of the teams to split in equal proportions also means that information fails to aggregate.  The Donald learns nothing from the people who know the candidate the best, the employees. 

Comments are open especially if you have other examples of the malleability of group identity and how it can distort information aggregation.


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