Comparing face-to-face meetings, nominal groups, Delphi and prediction markets on an estimation task
We conducted laboratory experiments for analyzing the accuracy of three structured approaches (nominal groups, Delphi, and prediction markets) relative to traditional face-to-face meetings (FTF). We recruited 227 participants (11 groups per method) who were required to solve a quantitative judgment task that did not involve distributed knowledge. This task consisted of ten factual questions, which required percentage estimates. While we did not find statistically significant differences in accuracy between the four methods overall, the results differed somewhat at the individual question level. Delphi was as accurate as FTF for eight questions and outperformed FTF for two questions. By comparison, prediction markets did not outperform FTF for any of the questions and were inferior for three questions. The relative performances of nominal groups and FTF were mixed and the differences were small. We also compared the results from the three structured approaches to prior individual estimates and staticized groups. The three structured approaches were more accurate than participants' prior individual estimates. Delphi was also more accurate than staticized groups. Nominal groups and prediction markets provided little additional value relative to a simple average of the forecasts. In addition, we examined participants' perceptions of the group and the group process. The participants rated personal communications more favorably than computer-mediated interactions. The group interactions in FTF and nominal groups were perceived as being highly cooperative and effective. Prediction markets were rated least favourably: prediction market participants were least satisfied with the group process and perceived their method as the most difficult.
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