In his 2004 book “The Wisdom of Crowds”, James Surowiecki makes an interesting case that if you want to make a correct decision then large numbers of ordinary people can provide better advice than a small number of experts. We have been researching this concept since 2005 and find that it is a potentially useful technique - but that applying it is rather more complex than suggested by Surowiecki.
We prefer the term "the wisdom of the masses" rather than crowds because the latter does not suggest sufficient diversity.
Consumer expectations have been found to be valuable for forecasting and predicting behaviour. This includes economic and political outcomes.
The November 2020 survey indicates that economic fear has declined somewhat, although it is still elevated compared with the long-term average. Expectations about climate change have also moderated following good rains in 2020.
The report also covers expectations about prices (automotive fuel and electricity); fertility; disease; vehicle ownership; and terrorism.
This information has implications for consumer spending, and politics as the next Australian federal election draws nigh.