Crowd Wisdom is what you might call the average opinion of the group, but it is not an opinion that everyone in the group may agree on.
Social groups can be remarkably smart and knowledgeable when their averaged judgements are compared with the judgements of individuals.Already Galton [Galton F (1907) Nature 75:7] found evidence that the median estimate of a group can be more accurate than estimates of experts. The term ‘crowd’ used in the title refers to any group of people. This could be a group of researchers, a corporation or the general public.
An example of how effective and valuable crowd wisdom can be comes from Francis Galton, a statistician, in 1906 attended the West of England Fat Stock and Poultry Exhibition in Plymouth. Visitors to the event were asked to estimate the weight of a slaughtered and dressed Ox. Eight hundred people took part in the event and wrote down their answers. Galton used the mean of the eight hundred answers to produce an answer of 1197 pounds. This proved to be the closest result to the actual weight of 1198 pounds (Surowiecki 2005).
At Lake Market Research, we conduct crowd wisdom surveys which can be a hugely beneficial source of information for companies across the UK.
Our crowd wisdom surveys are based on inviting a random selected group of 500 members of the public from a defined geographical area being asked crowd wisdom questions. The questions are devised by our in-house team and from participating panelists
The median estimate of a group can be more accurate than estimates of experts!