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A description of the Delphi Technique which attempts to make effective use of informed intuitive judgment in long-range forecasting. The Delphi method in its simplest form solicits the opinions of experts through a series of carefully designed questionnaires interspersed with information and opinion feedback. A convergence of opinion has been observed in the majority of cases where the Delphi approach has been used. In a few of the cases where no convergence toward a relatively narrow interval of values took place, opinions began to polarize around two distinct values; two schools of thought regarding a particular issue seemed to emerge. Refinements that have been made in the Delphi Technique consist of the introduction of weighted opinions and use of the technique in conjunction with a simulated decisionmaking process.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.