Methods of expert evaluation in the analysis of socio-economic processes
Expert assessments are used practically at all stages of economic research, although their methodological basis can differ significantly. Expert assessments are inherently subjective, but since the basis of each judgment is a very definite information, accumulated experience, the results of an analysis of objective reality, it is assumed that judgments will not be too contradictory. Differences can be overcome by mutual correction, taking into account additional information received from other experts: with an increase in the amount of objective information, as a rule, the degree of adequacy of the hypotheses put forward and their use in the study of the socio-economic process is increased.
The expert evaluation method assumes the development by each expert of an individual solution with respect to the expected future characteristics of the process under study.
Expert assessments are divided into individual and group.
Individual assessments (method interviews & quot ;, analytical notes, script writing, etc.) presuppose the independent work of each expert to solve the problem posed. The final version of the decision in this case is determined directly by the researcher through analysis of expert data.
The "interview" method provides for the direct contact of the forensic researcher with the expert in the "question-answer" mode of operation. according to a previously developed program aimed at identifying the prospects for the development of the process under study. Success depends on the thoughtfulness of the questions, their uniqueness and logical interconnectedness. Questions can be divided into two groups: 1) aimed at assessing the motives that guided the expert in substantiating the decision, and 2) aimed at determining this decision.
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The result of the work is a memo, containing the rationale for the future state of the process.
Individual expert forecasting has become quite widespread in determining future changes in the commodity market - the long-term characteristics of demand, consumption and production of goods and services of various groups, investments and commodity stocks, etc.
Writing a script assumes a logical sequence of situations that, based on the existing state of the process, allow you to predict possible states in the future. The sequence of states is usually considered in the time coordinate system. Scenario method is used for forecasting partially or completely controlled processes; he forces us to pay attention to the detailed aspects of the interrelationships between phenomena that could be missed at the abstract level of their analysis. If a single expert is involved in the development of the scenario, but an entire group, then this method refers to group expert assessments.
The advantages of group expert assessments over individual ones are as follows:
• the amount of information that all members of the expert group have, more information each of them has individually;
• The number of factors considered is usually greater than the number of factors that an individual member of the group operates on;
• Correctly organized interaction of members of the group allows to compensate for the polarity of their opinions, thus contributing to the development of a more reasonable forecasting solution.
The listed advantages of group examination are the criteria for its accuracy.
One of the widely used methods of group estimation of the forecast solution is the questionnaire method - a series of sequential procedures aimed at preparing and substantiating the forecast. These procedures are characterized by the anonymity of a written questionnaire, produced using questionnaires, regulated feedback between the results of a survey of the previous stage and the preparation of their new version, as well as the group nature of the response. The adjustable feedback is carried out by conducting several rounds of expert interviews, each of which the response characteristics are processed using mathematical-statistical methods and the results are reported anonymously.
The group response is formed by processing and analyzing the results of expert answers. The criterion for the completion of its development, as a rule, is the coincidence of opinions of experts.
The questionnaire differs from free interviews in a written form of interview, the possibility of attracting a large number of experts. In absentia, the collection of opinions excludes one of the shortcomings of free interviews - the "interviewer effect" (ie possible impact of the interviewer on the formation of the opinion of the interviewee). However, this method is characterized by a low level of return of questionnaires; in addition, the possibility of the expert's interpretation of the experts' answers is not completely excluded. A formalized survey is a questionnaire in the sense of the word familiar to sociologists. Respondents receive a detailed questionnaire with questions formulated primarily in closed or semi-closed form. The purpose of this method is to find out the opinion of the majority of specialists, their evaluation of various aspects of the problem posed. The information obtained is subject not only to qualitative, but also quantitative analysis.
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The method of scaled estimates is aimed at obtaining quantitative information with the help of assessments of the ratio of specialists to the subject of expertise on a scale - nominal, rank, metric.
Statistical methods are the criterion for the accuracy of group examination. The statistical indicator is a quantitative evaluation of the property of the phenomenon under study. Depending on the objective function of the statistical indicators, they can be divided into accounting and evaluation and analytical.
Accounting and evaluation indicators - is a statistical characteristic of the size of qualitatively defined socio-economic phenomena in specific conditions of place and time. These indicators are systematized according to the target application in the three main stages of the economic and statistical research that are carried out consistently:
1) collecting primary statistical information;
2) statistical summary and processing of primary information;
3) analysis of statistical information.
At the first stage of the statistical study, the values of the studied traits corresponding to the set task are obtained from the individual units of the statistical population. In this case, the methods of mass observation are used (the requirement for the mass of units of observation is due to the fact that the regularities studied by statistics are manifested in a sufficiently large data set based on the action of the law of large numbers).
At the second stage of the statistical survey, the information collected during the mass observation is subjected to statistical processing, including obtaining totals for the whole population and its parts, the systematization of aggregate units by similarity, etc.
The most important method of the second stage of statistical research is the method of statistical groupings, allowing to identify socio-economic types in the studied population. The main content of the second stage of the statistical study is the transition from the characteristics of the unit to the summary (generalizing) indicators of the population as a whole or its parts (groups). The delineation of qualitatively homogeneous groups of socio-economic phenomena in an essential respect is one of the indispensable conditions for the scientific application of the method of generalizing statistical indicators in a statistical study.
Violation of the principle of qualitative homogeneity of the studied population leads to obtaining atypical characteristics, distortion of the result of the study.
At the third stage of statistical research, statistical information is analyzed on the basis of the application of generalizing statistical indicators: absolute, relative and average values, statistical coefficients, etc.
Depending on the specificity of the phenomenon being studied, the accounting and evaluation indicators may reflect either the volumes of their prevalence in space, or the levels of development reached at certain points. The quantity and quality appear in statistics as two sides of a single process.
The analytic variety of the statistical method is closely related to an indicator such as the - a characteristic property of the phenomenon under study that distinguishes it from other phenomena in which the unity of the qualitative and quantitative aspects is expressed.
Sometimes the concept of a statistical indicator is identified with the notion of a feature of the phenomenon being studied.
The characteristics studied by the statistics can be expressed as semantic concepts ( attributive tags), and numerical values ( quantitative tags). Attributive are such features as the gender of a person: the specialization of stores (food, non-food), etc. If attribute attributes accept only one of two opposite values, they are called alternative. Quantitative characteristics are, for example, age, length of service, salary, etc.
The signs that take different values for the individual units of the phenomenon being studied are called varying. An important feature of the statistical method is that it forms statistical aggregates (collectives).
Analysis of statistical information allows us to disclose the causal relationships of the phenomena studied, to determine the influence and interaction of various factors, to evaluate the effectiveness of management decisions, the possible economic and social consequences of emerging situations. By comparing the generalizing statistical indicators of the phenomena studied, quantitative estimates of their prevalence in space and development over time are determined, and the characteristics of communication and dependence are established. A comparison of the individual with the general determines the measure of the development of the individual, its difference from the other units of the studied population. The statistical population is the set of units of the phenomenon being studied, combined in accordance with the research task on a qualitative unified basis. In the analysis of statistical information, table and graphical methods are widely used.
The accuracy of the group assessment of the examination depends on the size of the group. In recent years, various ways of determining the optimal number of its participants have been developed. One of them is based on the consideration that there are maximal and minimal boundaries of the group: the lower one depends on the number of evaluated events (how many events - so many experts); The upper one is defined as the potential number of possible experts. Another, more general approach involves the use of graphs that characterize the relationship between the number of experts in a group and the average group error. Curves of this type allow you to select the minimum number of experts allowed.
Rational use of information obtained from experts is possible provided that it is transformed into a form that is convenient for further analysis, preparation and decision-making. The nature of the information depends on the properties of the measured objects, therefore the formalization rules are determined by the level of measurement. The most common ways of ordering information are ranking and the method of direct evaluation.
Ranking is the establishment of the relative importance (preference) of the objects under investigation based on their ordering.
Rank is an indicator characterizing the ordinal location of the evaluated object in the group of other objects that have properties that are essential for the evaluation.
For each object, calculate the amount of ranks received from all experts, then order these amounts: the highest rank is assigned to the object that received the smallest amount, the lowest is assigned to the object with the highest amount. The accuracy and reliability of the ranking depends on the number of comparison objects. The most reliable results are obtained when the number of comparison objects does not exceed 20.
The ranking method is often combined with ordering methods that provide a more precise distribution of objects in terms of the degree of expression of the studied property.
The method, called brainstorming - this is an "exchange of views", or a method of attributed evaluation. In this case, the task is not only to identify possible ways of solving the problem, but also to achieve a unified view of the merits and shortcomings of the ideas put forward and develop collective proposals. Often the discussion takes place in several rounds (the Delphi method ), and in each subsequent round experts are required to get more consistent estimates.
The facilitator should ensure that when developing a decision, experts do not take the path of compromises and mutual concessions. The problem of reaching an agreement is often more important than developing an elaborate and useful forecast.
Due to excessive activity, one or more members of the group who possess the gift of persuasion can send the entire group along the wrong path. The group can exert pressure on its members, forcing individual experts to agree with the majority, even if the majority viewpoint is erroneous.
A special value in this method is attached to the formation of a group of experts: in case of unsuccessful selection, the group can share a common prejudice and the prediction in this case is predetermined without conducting an in-depth analysis of the problem. No member of the group should "squash" on others with their authority, so it is advisable that experts occupy roughly the same official and social position. Criticism of ideas is carried out in an implicit form: rather, one can speak not even of criticism, but of the degree of support for each idea. A stronger idea should receive more support.
After the meeting, the second stage of the forecast development comes: analysis of its results, selection and justification of the final decision. The proposed assumptions are classified according to certain criteria, evaluated according to the accepted scale of significance. If the possibilities for formalizing the solutions are sufficiently large, then it is expedient to use mathematical and statistical methods for processing their quantitative characteristics at the analysis stage.
The brainstorming method is recommended to be used in situations characterized by the absence of real, fairly obvious options for the development of processes in the future.
Most often it is applied at the level of large firms, concerns for the analysis of the situation emerging in the market, to determine the range of measures to overcome the "barriers". There are known cases of its use by military organizations in forecasting conflict situations, in the field of armament development. This method is also used in larger forecasting systems to perform analytical functions in the analysis of decision options.
Brainstorming Is a collective full-time job of experts in order to find a solution to a complex problem.
The expert group meetings are held according to certain rules, which differ depending on the type of problem. In the process of nominating ideas, their criticism is forbidden, which ensures the possibility of free expression of the most "insane" ideas related to solving the problem posed. The method is most promising in the search for a solution to a little-studied problem; is very effective in drawing up a forecast for the location of productive forces in the region (especially for production and cultural purposes), determining the timing of replacement of equipment.
We can distinguish the following types of "brainstorming":
1) discussion - discussion of a contentious issue; a study of the problem in which each side, challenging the opinion of the interlocutor, argues his position and claims to achieve the goal;
2) apodictic discussion is a discussion based on the laws of thought and the rules of inference, the purpose of which is to achieve reasoned truth;
3) business conversation - a specific form of communication between people having authority from their organizations, during which there is an exchange of views and a focused discussion of a specific problem with a view to finding a mutually beneficial solution;
4) sophistical discussion - a discussion with the goal of winning by any means, including by manipulating words and concepts, misleading the interviewee, etc .;
5) collective generation of ideas - obtaining a solution as a product of collective creativity of specialists during a session-session, conducted according to certain rules, and subsequent analysis of its results. This is a method of stimulating creative activity and productivity, in which each member of a certain group expresses any thoughts on the proposed topic, without monitoring or evaluating them, after which an analysis of the ideas is carried out in order to select the most successful ones.
In substantiating the forecast, two tasks are solved differentially: generation of new ideas regarding possible options for the development of the process, as well as analysis and evaluation of the ideas put forward.
Usually, during the meeting, all specialists are divided into two groups: one group generates ideas, and the other - analyzes them.
We welcome the promotion of as many ideas as possible (the probability of a truly valuable idea increases with the increase in their total number), free exchange of opinions, etc.
The task of the facilitator is to guide the discussion in the right direction, without straying into conversation, competition in wit, etc. At the same time, he should not impose his opinion on the participants of the discussion, they should be oriented towards a certain way of thinking. The development of a generalized forecasting solution based on expert assessments primarily assumes that each expert has sufficient knowledge, experience, information to enable him to propose a forecast variant close to the "true". Expert methods are usually used to develop forecasts in conditions of insufficient information. This can cause significant differences in the judgments of individual experts, and an opinion other than the majority will not necessarily be wrong.
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