Monday, August 31, 2009

Delphi Methods

Reminder: HW due today

. . . Still a few hours left... any confusions or questions?

Today's Plan

Start by learning the "Delphi method"

Each person will then use the Delphi method to extract group wisdom from the class on a question about the future

. . . We will need a secretary for each question, to record results

The person whose question it is should use the results as part of their term project

. . . (If you change term project topic later, put these results in an appendix)

The Delphi Method - Background

It is a town in Greece (Δελφοί)

. . . do you know those Greek letters?

Delphi is the site of the "Delphic Oracle"

. . . (the Oracle of Apollo, which is in Delphi)

. . . . . . Apollo was a Greek god, & a U.S. space program & series of space ships

An oracle is a source of wisdom or prediction

. . . (same root as oral, oration, etc.)

. . . a crystal ball is an example of an oracle

The Delphi method extracts "wise predictions" from groups

. . . And . . . we are a group!

The Delphi Method - How

(Of course, variations exist)

1. Formulate the question

. . . Should be "sharp and answerable"

- Futures Research Methodology V3.0, Ed. by J.C. Glenn and T. J. Gordon

2. Present results to participants

. . . Discuss, especially the most extreme opinions

. . . It is very important to avoid conformism for its own sake!

. . . . . . "Campaigning" will distort the wisdom of the group

3. Participants can reconsider their answers in light of new thoughts

4. Overall results include

. . . median (why not mean?)

. . . depiction of the spread (e.g. middle 50% and total range)

(Source: JC Glenn and TJ Gordon, eds. Futures Research Methodology V3.0, chap. 4, p. 10)

When is a Better Time than Now to Try it!

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