05 December 2005

Experts are clueless

Yet another example that individual judgement is often clouded by emotion and gut feelings:  No member of the panel of football experts at Yahoo! Sports's NFL Pickem has been able to outperform the picks of Yahoo! Sports users at large.  In other words, if you were placing straight bets on NFL games you'd do better if you went with the majority of Yahoo! Sports users instead of following an expert on the panel.  A book on my to-read-when-I-get-around-to-it list explores this concept; it's called The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations by James Surowiecki.  For a similar reason I tend to consult Rotten Tomatoes before I read individual movie reviews.


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