The surprisingly popular answer is a wisdom of the crowd technique that taps into the expert minority opinion within a crowd. For a given question, a group is asked both "What do you think the right answer is?" and "What do you think the popular answer will be?" The answer that maximizes the average difference between the "right" answer and the "popular" answer is the "surprisingly popular" answer.
- Yes: 65%
- No: 35%
What do you think most people will respond to that question?
- Yes: 75%
- No: 25%
The difference between the answers to the right question and the popular question:
- Yes: 65% - 75% = -10%
- No: 35% - 25% = 10%
Thus, the No answer is surprisingly popular (10% > -10%). Because of the relatively high margin of 10%, there can be high confidence that the correct answer is No.