Cover: Delphi Assessment

Delphi Assessment

Expert Opinion, Forecasting, and Group Process

Published 1974

by Harold Sackman

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

A critical analysis and evaluation of the Delphi technique, a systematic method for eliciting expert opinion on a variety of topics. The author examines the methodological principles and key assumptions of Delphi in the light of current standards for social experimentation, test design, sampling, use of experts, and interpretation of findings. He concludes that conventional Delphi is an unreliable and scientifically unvalidated technique in principle and probably in practice. Except for its possible value as an informal exercise for heuristic purposes, Delphi should be replaced by demonstrably superior, scientifically rigorous questionnaire techniques and associated experimental procedures using human subjects. Users are urged to work with psychometrically trained social scientists who can apply rigorous techniques tailored to specific needs. Delphi should not be used until its principles, methods, and fundamental applications can be established experimentally as scientifically tenable.

This report is part of the RAND report series. The report was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND 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.