Barb Mellers

Barb Mellers
University of Pennsylvania | UP · Department of Psychology/Wharton School

About

40
Publications
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1,172
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Aggregating predictions from multiple judges often yields more accurate predictions than relying on a single judge, which is known as the wisdom-of-the-crowd effect. However, a wide range of aggregation methods are available, which range from one-size-fits-all techniques, such as simple averaging, prediction markets, and Bayesian aggregators, to cu...
Article
Full-text available
Policy-makers are increasingly turning to behavioural science for insights about how to improve citizens’ decisions and outcomes¹. Typically, different scientists test different intervention ideas in different samples using different outcomes over different time intervals². The lack of comparability of such individual investigations limits their po...
Article
Background Physicians who communicate their prognostic beliefs to patients must balance candor against other competing goals, such as preserving hope, acknowledging the uncertainty of medicine, or motivating patients to follow their treatment regimes. Objective To explore possible differences between the beliefs physicians report as their own and...
Article
Full-text available
Is the pain of a loss greater in magnitude than the pleasure of a comparable gain? Studies that compare positive feelings about a gain with negative feelings about a comparable loss have found mixed answers to this question. The pain of a loss can be greater than, less than, or equal to the pleasure of a comparable gain. We offer a new approach to...
Article
A four-year series of subjective probability forecasting tournaments sponsored by the U.S. intelligence community revealed a host of replicable drivers of predictive accuracy, including experimental interventions such as training in probabilistic reasoning, anti‐groupthink teaming, and tracking of talent. Drawing on these data, we propose a Bayesia...
Article
Full-text available
Geopolitical forecasting tournaments have stimulated the development of methods for improving probability judgments of real-world events. But these innovations have focused on easier-to quantify variables, like personnel selection, training, teaming, and crowd aggregation—and bypassed messier constructs, like qualitative properties of forecasters’...
Article
Full-text available
We report the results of the first large-scale, long-term, experimental test between two crowd sourcing methods – prediction markets and prediction polls. More than 2,400 participants made forecasts on 261 events over two seasons of a geopolitical prediction tournament. Some forecasters traded in a continuous double auction market and were ranked b...
Article
This article proposes an Item Response Theoretical (IRT) forecasting model that incorporates proper scoring rules and provides evaluations of forecasters’ expertise in relation to the features of the specific questions they answer. We illustrate the model using geopolitical forecasts obtained by the Good Judgment Project (GJP) (see Mellers, Ungar,...
Article
We report the results of the first large-scale, long-term, experimental test between two crowdsourcing methods: prediction markets and prediction polls. More than 2,400 participants made forecasts on 261 events over two seasons of a geopolitical prediction tournament. Forecasters were randomly assigned to either prediction markets (continuous doubl...
Article
In two studies, people were reluctant to trade items they own, but glad to accept upgrades with identical end states. The framing of the transaction makes a difference. A mediational analysis suggests that the relationship between the frame of the transaction and measures of value (willingness to accept, WTA) depends on perceived losses. Losses are...
Article
Full-text available
Explicit consideration of anticipated regret is not part of the standard shared decision-making protocols. This pilot study aimed to compare decisions about a hypothetical surgery for breast cancer and examined whether regret is a consideration in treatment decisions. In this randomized experimental study, 184 healthy female volunteers were randomi...
Article
Full-text available
To successfully select and implement nudges, policy makers need a psychological understanding of who opposes nudges, how they are perceived, and when alternative methods (e.g., forced choice) might work better. Using two representative samples, we examined four factors that influence U.S. attitudes toward nudges – types of nudges, individual dispos...
Research
Although producers are often evaluated favorably for demonstrating a willingness to change their products to satisfy consumer needs, there may be important exceptions. Five experiments identify a fundamental difference between markets for commercial and artistic products. Consumers reward commercial producers who focus on satisfying consumer tastes...
Article
Full-text available
Forecasting tournaments are level-playing-field competitions that reveal which individuals, teams, or algorithms generate more accurate probability estimates on which topics. This article describes a massive geopolitical tournament that tested clashing views on the feasibility of improving judgmental accuracy and on the best methods of doing so. Th...
Article
When aggregating the probability estimates of many individuals to form a consensus probability estimate of an uncertain future event, it is common to combine them using a simple weighted average. Such aggregated probabilities correspond more closely to the real world if they are transformed by pushing them closer to 0 or 1. We explain the need for...
Article
Full-text available
The authors discuss the steps involved in good decision making and use those steps to organize results from behavioral decision research. Framing effects self serving biases, and context effects are a few of the many errors and biases that are presented. The authors also discuss techniques for reducing errors. They conclude by providing examples of...
Book
Decision Science and Technology is a compilation of chapters written in honor of a remarkable man, Ward Edwards. Among Ward's many contributions are two significant accomplishments, either of which would have been enough for a very distinguished career. First, Ward is the founder of behavioral decision theory. This interdisciplinary discipline addr...
Article
We examine the relationship between blatant racial prejudice and anger toward affirmative action. (1) Blatantly prejudiced attitudes continue to pervade the white population in the United States. (2) Resistance to affirmative action is more than an extension of this prejudice. (3) White resistance to affirmative action is not unyielding and unalter...
Article
Contextual effects due to attribute range were examined in single-attribute and multiattribute judgments. The effect of a given attribute difference was greater when presented in a narrow range than a wide range. Stretching and shrinking the range of attributes altered the rank orders of judgments assigned to the same stimuli in different ranges. T...
Article
In Exp I, using a within-S design, 24 Ss drawn from the academic community judged all combinations of the standard and comparison stimulus. In Exp II, using a between-Ss design, 32 Ss received only 1 standard and different groups of Ss were given different standards. Results show that "ratios" and "differences" of heaviness were monotonically relat...
Article
Judges were trained with feedback to predict a numerical criterion from pairs of numerical cues. "Configurality" in the functions relating the cues to the criterion was analyzed by factorially separating forms of additivity and nonadditivity from linearity and nonlinearity. "Configurality" in the judges' responses was decomposed by using graphs of...

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