is our reward

Publications in Royal Society Open Science by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

May 17, 2023

Predicting the future can bring enormous advantages. Across the ages, reliance on supernatural foreseeing was substituted by the opinion of expert forecasters, and now by collective intelligence approaches which draw on many non-expert forecasters. Yet all of these approaches continue to see individual forecasts as the key unit on which accuracy is determined. Here, we hypothesize that compromise forecasts, defined as the average prediction in a group, represent a better way to harness collective predictive intelligence. We test this by analysing 5 years of data from the Good Judgement Project and comparing the accuracy of individual versus compromise forecasts. Furthermore, given that an accurate forecast is only useful if timely, we analyze how the accuracy changes through time as the events approach. We found that compromise forecasts are more accurate, and that this advantage persists through time, though accuracy varies. Contrary to what was expected (i.e. a monotonous increase in forecasting accuracy as time passes), forecasting error for individuals and for team compromise starts its decline around two months prior to the event. Overall, we offer a method of aggregating forecasts to improve accuracy, which can be straightforwardly applied in noisy real-world settings. © 2023 The Authors.

Research field(s)
Applied Sciences, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Experimental Psychology