Cognitive Daily

Casual Fridays: Oscar predictions

Every year, millions of people around the world make a game out of predicting the winners of the Academy Awards. Sometimes, there’s even an office pool, with hundreds of dollars going to the winner.

Of course, many fewer of us have actually seen all the nominated films. Do you ever wonder if seeing the films gives Oscar-predictors an advantage? Now’s your chance to find out. This week, we’re collecting Oscar predictions, and also asking predictors to indicate how many of the movies they’ve seen. Next week, we’ll let you know if seeing the movies actually helps people more accurately predict the winners.

Click here to make your predictions

This survey will close at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, March 5, in time for you to catch Jon Stewart’s opening monologue (or when we have 250 participants, whichever comes first).


  1. #1 Dave S.
    March 3, 2006

    Not one of these movies have I seen. I like to rent the DVD and watch ’em at the cottage in the summers. That doesn’t stop me from having strong opinions though! 🙂

  2. #2 Craig Pennington
    March 3, 2006

    Yeah, I was thinking that demographic data should have been collected. Really to test my theory regarding how many males versus females assert strong opinion in the absence of sufficient data. Of course, that could well be another of Orac’s Well, Duh! studies.

  3. #3 Dave Munger
    March 3, 2006

    Dave: I think my situation is even worse than yours — the only movies I’ve seen are in the “special effects” category.

    Craig: I agree, ideally we’d have done demographics, too. But if we added in every measure we’d like to these surveys, they wouldn’t be “casual” anymore — they’d be much more like real work — which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid on Fridays! So, in general, we try to limit the number of questions to five, to make it manageable both for the participants and the “statisticians.”

  4. #4 Katherine Moore
    March 3, 2006

    You should ask which movies people have seen. I have seen some of the movies, but I voted on different ones to win.

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