Wisdom" 3/15/08 Poll results
Computed Response and Commentary
||Home sales will rebound in
September 2010 [18 months, median response].
||78% believe we're in a
||The probability that a
major money center bank will go bankrupt or require a Federal bailout
was put at 78% [median estimate].
||The probability that at
least one major money market fund will "break the buck" [have
its share value drop below $1] is only 30% [median estimate].
||79% of respondents chose
Option A [guaranteed $500 win] and only 21% chose Option B [coin toss
chance to win either $1000 or $0]. This strong risk-aversion response on
the "win side" matches academic research results.
||55% of respondents chose
Option B [coin toss
chance to lose nothing or $1000] and 45% chose Option A [certain $500
loss]. This risk-aversion response on
the "losing side" contrasts with a strong preference for
Option B in academic research.
||The group thought their
investment management skill was "average" [category #3 of 5]
based on the median result. There was a 92% clumping at the center
only 4% rated themselves "well below average" and 4%
rated themselves "well above average."
||It would take a $20 win on
a coin toss to make people risk a -$10 loss [based on the median
answer]. A few individuals were so risk-averse they needed $100 to $1000
wins to avoid a possible $10 loss. The $20 figure exactly agrees with
Nobel economist Kahnemann's experience in asking this loss-aversion
||48% believe Obama will be
elected next November; 39% said McCain; 13% Clinton.
||President George W. Bush
was given a median "rating" of 3 [1= worst, 10=
best] as the 20-year-future perception of his tenure compared to all
||President Bill Clinton was
given a median "rating" of 5 [1= worst, 10= best]
as the 20-year-future perception of his tenure compared to all other
||Federal Reserve Chief Ben
Bernanke was given a median "rating" of 5 [1=
worst, 10= best] as the 20-year-future perception of his tenure.
||Former Federal Reserve
Chief Alan Greenspan was given a median "rating" of
6 [1= worst, 10= best] as the 20-year-future perception of his
||The median value for the
Dow Jones Industrial Average on the last day of 2008 was estimated to be
to its value of approximately 12,000 on the date of the poll. [Could
this be an example of anchoring on the present value?]
||The median value for the
10-year Treasury Note yield on the last day of 2008 was estimated to be 3.5% compared to
its value of 3.5% on the date of the poll. [Another anchor choice?]
||The long-term, capital
gains tax rate five years from now will be 20% [median estimate].
||There is a 40% chance that
the Dow Jones Industrial Average will DROP a further 20% from its
current level before the next bull market rise.
||The proposition that the
Federal Reserve must lower interest rates much further and quicker to
get credit markets functioning effectively again rated a median 2
response, where 1= strongly DISAGREE and 5= strongly SUPPORT. So, the
wise crowd "moderately DISAGREED" with this idea.
||The U.S. will finish
withdrawing at least 75% of its troops from Iraq in 2011 [median]. Some
people expected much longer term involvement so the average withdrawal
year was 2014.
||Though only one in two
crowd members voted their opinion on this matter, 54% of those who did
vote thought some terrorist entity would detonate a nuclear bomb in the
next 20 years.
||The confidence level in the
answer to question #20 was 50%... so it's a toss-up if a bomb will be
detonated and also a toss-up that we can predict this.
||A Palestinian state will be
recognized by the U.N. in 2015 according to the 86% of respondents who
chose a specific year for this event. The other 14% said this
recognition will never happen.
||There is a 30% probability
[median] that the Chinese stock market will FALL 50% in the next two
||There is a 20% probability
[median] that the Japanese stock market will RISE 50% in the next two
||83% of the wise crowd said
Toronto is NOT the capital city of Canada; 17% said it was. In fact,
Ottawa is the capital of Canada... but see the next question.
||The median confidence level
in the question #25 answer was 100%. But the median confidence of people
who said Toronto WAS the capital was lower than 100%.
||North and South Korea will
be reunited in 2023 according to the 61% of respondents who chose a
specific year for this event. The other 39% said this union will never
||The U.S. will stop using
oil-based products as a heating or combustion fuel in 2050 [median].
||Universal health care
coverage in the U.S. in either a governmental or private sector format
will be available in 2015 according to the 66% of respondents who chose
a specific year for this event. The other 34% said this coverage will
never be universal.
||A pharmaceutical or
painless procedure that completely cures one common type of cancer will
first be available in 2020 according to the 74% of respondents who chose
a specific year for this event. The other 26% said such a cure will
never happen. Two respondents claimed we already had cured some type of
||Here's a significant
example of crowd wisdom... the number of meters in a mile were reported
in the range 2.5 to 15,000... a very wide bracket around the correct
answer of 1609.3 meters. However, the median answer was 1600 [just 0.6%
low] and even the average of all answers was a respectable estimate of 1591
meters [just -1.1% low].
||The probability that
"global warming" is a real effect AND is significantly caused
by human beings was rated at 70% [median].