Bayern München 2: Borussia Dortmund 1 – as expected
- ESMT professors find outcome corresponds with individual predictions
- Findings confirm “wisdom of crowds”
The outcome of this weekend’s Champion’s League final, Bayern München’s 2:1 victory over Borussia Dortmund, corresponds with predictions made by the German public.
Peter Jarnebrant and Kristian Ove R. Myrseth, assistant professors at ESMT European School of Management and Technology, asked 500 individuals in Germany, via an online study, to make predictions about the outcome of the game. Respondents were asked to judge the likelihood of the full range of possible outcomes, both for the “net score” and “total goals scored.”
The median expected net score was .3 in Bayern’s favor. Moreover, the median expected total number of goals scored was 3.5. This corresponds well with Bayern’s 2:1 win, with a net score of 1 in Bayern’s favor and a total score of 3.
The respondents’ allegiance was fairly evenly split: 28 per cent of the respondents were Bayern fans, 32 per cent Dortmund fans, and 40 per cent had another or no favorite team. Not surprisingly, views depended on allegiance. Among Bayern supporters, the median expected net score was .7 with a median expected total score of 3.7. In contrast, the median expected net score among Dortmund supporters was 0.0, and their median expected total score was 3.4.
The accurate predictions are consistent with prior findings in the scientific literature on the “wisdom of crowds.” By aggregating individual expectations, one may strip away “noise” or random error to uncover a group’s best estimate. Similar methods have, for example, yielded reliable estimates of election outcomes.
The study was conducted as part of larger research project that explores the nature of beliefs in the face of uncertainty.
ESMT European School of Management and Technology was founded in October 2002 by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, and open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership and social responsibility, European competitiveness, and the management of technology. Additionally the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is based in Berlin, Germany, with an additional campus in Schloss Gracht near Cologne, where USW Netzwerk runs the German-speaking executive education programs of the business school. ESMT is a private business school, accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, and FIBAA.