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A Bayesian Truth Serum for Subjective Data

Science  15 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5695, pp. 462-466
DOI: 10.1126/science.1102081

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Abstract

Subjective judgments, an essential information source for science and policy, are problematic because there are no public criteria for assessing judgmental truthfulness. I present a scoring method for eliciting truthful subjective data in situations where objective truth is unknowable. The method assigns high scores not to the most common answers but to the answers that are more common than collectively predicted, with predictions drawn from the same population. This simple adjustment in the scoring criterion removes all bias in favor of consensus: Truthful answers maximize expected score even for respondents who believe that their answer represents a minority view.

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