In this essay, I describe some of the benefits of cognitive diversity in a complex world as well as the origins of that diversity. The essay has two main parts sandwiched between a brief description of what I mean by diversity and complexity, as well as a brief discussion of whether social systems produce sufficient diversity. In the first part, I describe models that provide insight into why we see the levels of diversity that we do. These models rest on social psychological foundations but borrow ideas from economics as well as population genetics. In the second part, I describe the functional benefits of diversity. I show how diverse predictive models can make a collection of people better able to make accurate predictions, how diverse perspectives and heuristics can enable groups of problem solvers to find innovative new solutions to problems, and how diverse behaviors and representations of the world can make a society more robust. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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