Published on March 3, 2009
Experimenting with the Wisdom of the Crowds The Anchoring Effect Prepared by Alex Volinsky Selcuk Atli Judd Rattner Geetanjali Sharma Sheldon Gay Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Wisdom of the Crowds • Anyone can say Anything about Anything • Trust Based Evaluation • Expression of Opinion • Collective Wisdom • Could we experiment with this process? • Could we manipulate the perceived collective wisdom? Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Hypothesis • “Making artiﬁcial changes to the anchoring of certain opinion items should lead to a change in perceived public opinion and affect the expressive behavior of future visitors” • Absolute collective wisdom? • Visibility of opinions? • Association with trust? • Does the immersed balloon ﬂoat back on the surface of water? Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The Experiment • A Classical Online Survey • User Interactions • Browse • Vote (max. 3) • Comment Tuesday, March 3, 2009
But there is a catch • After a certain point in time, we split the survey in two forums • The natural forum • The manipulated forum: reversed votes • New-coming visitors are shared between these two forums 50%-50% • After enough interactions, the system shuts down Tuesday, March 3, 2009
System Flow of the Experiment !quot;#$%&'7' A,4&' !quot;#$%&'(' ),' B%/' )quot;*+%#' B%/' !456.' )quot;*+%#' !quot;#$%&'(' ,-'$,.%/' !quot;#$%&/' ,-'$,.%/' 0'12'3' 0'923' A,4&' ),' ),' !quot;#$%&'(' )%>?.%'' !:quot;.;,<=' @,.%/' !quot;#$%&'78' Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Mathematical Model of Analysis A: Survey before split B: Neutral survey after split B’: Manipulated survey after split CAi = The number of votes associated with the ith comment on survey A CBi = The number of votes associated with the ith comment on survey B CBi’ = The ith comment on survey B’ ∆Bi = CBi - CAi ∆Bi’ = CBi’ - CAi’ ∆Xi = ∆Bi’ - ∆Bi ∆Bi: How much the ith comment’s popularity changed after split on the neutral survey ∆B’:’ How much the ith comment’s popularity has changed after split on the negated survey ∆Xi: How much the negation of comment i has impacted the perception on visitors Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Voting Pattern Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Differential of Manipulation Comment Difference in Forums (∆B - ∆B') more jobs 9 tax cuts 2 Nothing! I dont care! 2 Money for small businesses 4 More money to support increasing tuition costs 2 None 1 Inﬂation 1 A Revolution -2 More debt for our children to deal with... good work Congress 2 Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Differential of Manipulation !quot;#$%$&'$(quot;&(-&.quot;&/()*+$,(012(3(1245( (%# '# &# !quot;#$%$&'$(quot;&()*+$,( quot;# $# %# M7N,+,8B1@# !$# !quot;# )*+,#-*./# 012#340/# 5*06789:#;# =*8,>#?*+# =*+,#)*8,># =*+,#<,.0#?*+# 5*8,# ;8I1B*8# J#K,L*@4B*8# <*80#31+,:# /)1@@# 0*#/4AA*+0# *4+#367@<+,8# .4/78,//,/# 783+,1/789# 0*#<,1@#C706DDD# 047B*8#3*/0/# 9**<#C*+E# F*89+,//G#9@1<# 06,#A4.@73#9*0# 0*#/,,#06,#.7@@# H+/0D# Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Observations • Users tend to give higher value to pre-conceived items • Users tend to comment rather than vote when faced with inferior comments • Users do not reliably review all existing comments • Users express group mentalities over inferior results Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Future Research • Re-iterate with different survey questions • Increase sample size • Isolate correlations • More parameters (e.g. browse time) Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Thanks Questions? Tuesday, March 3, 2009
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