November 2010

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        


MBM Principal Sources

Blog powered by Typepad

« Check Out Peter Boettke | Main | The Bracketology of Crowds, Part III: 2nd Round Report »

17 March 2007



It says, in Wisdom of Crowds, that crowds have special predictive power only when the individual judgments are rendered independently, without the individual predictors conferring with each other. But the situation you describe violates this premise: While people are picking their brackets, they have access to what other people have already predicted; and their own judgment is shaped by it. So their judgments are no longer independent.

Abel Winn


You bring up an interesting point. Not every user of is an independent observation; some users are probably relying on the opinions of others in making their predictions (though most likely not to the extent that I am).

However, with the very large number of users, it's likely that there is also a large number of independent predictions. So it's unlikely that all of the crowd's wisdom is being warped or dissipated.

Keep in mind that similar stock markets and betting markets also give participants access to the predictions of others. Yet these markets seem to do an excellent job at aggregating knowledge. Similarly, the Crowd is performing pretty respectably in the Tournament (this year, at least).

Admittedly, though, there are some flaws to my method, and I'll address them in a post after the tournament is complete.

The comments to this entry are closed.