Archive for the ‘Sample Size’ Category

Synergy between Wisdom of Crowds and Statistic’s Sample Size

January 19, 2008

The core idea behind the “wisdom of crowds” is that by aggregating information from a large, diverse group of individuals you can obtain a better solution and make better decisions.

Today I was reading Statistics for Dummies by Deborah Rumsey and realized that the motivation for the wisdom of crowds is quite analogous to the motivation for having a large sample size in statistics, as can be seen in these snippets from the book:

Fewer participants in a study means less information overall, so studies with small numbers of participants in general are less accurate than similar studies with larger sample sizes … Most researchers try to include the largest sample size they can afford, and they balance the cost of the sample size with the need for accuracy … Check the sample size to be sure you have enough information on which to base your results.