How to Make Better Forecasts and Decisions: Avoid Face-to-face Meetings

In his book, The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki turned conventional wisdom upside down when he showed that the average opinion of a crowd is frequently more accurate than the opinions of most of its individual members. In this article, in addition to pointing out the strengths and weaknesses in that book, Scott Armstrong considers whether or not traditional face-to-face meetings are an effective way to elicit forecasts from forecast crowds (taking the form of teams). He argues that the evidence clearly indicates that face-to-face meetings only hinder good forecasting practice. Armstrong goes on to provide some guidelines for problem-solving meetings, explains why traditional face-to-face meetings persist, and recommends three main types of alternative: markets (prediction, information, or betting Markets), nominal groups, and virtual teams. [ManyWorlds Annotation]

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