Support Provided ByLearn More

Dark Matter, Of Mice and Memory, Hany Farid, Wisdom of...

Ask enough people to estimate something, and the average of their guesses will get you close to the right answer.
Topic: Physics + MathPhysics & MathNova

(This program is no longer available for online streaming.) In the early 1900s, British scientist Sir Francis Galton thought he was proving the ignorance of the masses when he noted that no one got the right answer at a country-fair competition in which entrants were asked to guess the exact weight of an ox. What Galton failed to realize was that the median of all the guesses produced close to the right answer—and showed the "wisdom of the crowd."

More Ways to Watch

Support Provided ByLearn More

Explore More

Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.