Is there safety in numbers?

Published 17th February 2020 by Frog Education

As we will be asking attendees at the COBIS Annual Conference to guess the number of Frogs in the Jar, it is a good time to consider the findings of Sir Francis Galton from 1906.

This is NOT a cock and bull story...

Galton was an explorer meteorologist, scientist and statistician who, following a ‘guess the weight of the ox’ competition at a country fair, took all 787 guesses to work out an average. Amazingly the average came 1,197 pounds and the actual weight of the ox was 1,198 pounds! The participants had provided a near perfect answer!


The combined wisdom appeared to be better than most, if not all of the individuals involved. This phenomenon has become known as the Wisdom of Crowds..

It is advised that to take full advantage of our ‘crowd’, we need to select our audience using the following criteria:

The various guesses have to be independent of one another (we need to hide the answers given by other participants).

We need a diverse audience, so will be looking to encourage a real mix to guess the number of frogs in the jar.

Allowing our audience the opportunity to apply their own private and local knowledge.

At the end we’ll take an average of all the guesses (as with the ox in the 1906 example).




Join the collective at COBIS Annual Conference

We’ll see if the ‘Wisdom’ of our ‘COBIS Crowd’ can get as close to the number of frogs as those who collectively guesstimated within a pound of the actual weight of the ox.

We’ll reveal all when we announce our independent winner!

Find Frog on Stand 82



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