John Kearon is one of those rare folk in the world of market research who’s trying to do different things. First met him at MRS a couple of years ago when both of us were talking about electronic decision markets – a means of using the power of markets to predict the future.
Essentially, the trick is to get folk to tell you what they think will happen rather than tell you about their own responses to a stimulus (market research’s normal approach). Making it competitive helps – the literature suggests that money is probably not important in incentivising, but competition is. Decision markets were originally developed by the Tippie Business School in Iowa as a means to observe investor behaviour, but they turned out to provide a really powerful new tool for predicting what’s going to happen.
The difference between the two of us is this: John does, I just talk. (And my mate, David Muir, who first pointed the IDM out to me, won money on the 2004 US elections by betting on what the markets suggested would happen, wheras I believed the polls and my own prejudices…)
Big respect (to both)