Forecasting sales series

This study has been approved by Experimental Psychology Research Department’s Ethics Chair. Project ID No: CPB/2010/013.

We would like to invite you to participate in this research project directed by researchers at UCL. You should only participate if you want to; choosing not to take part will not disadvantage you in any way. Before you decide whether you want to take part, it is important for you to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. In this online study you will be asked to look at sales series and make forecasts based on these. All data will be handled according to the Data Protection Act 1998 and will be kept anonymous. Only researchers working with Professor Harvey will analyze these data. It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide to take part you will be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. You may wish to print this information sheet for your records.

Name, Address and Contact Details of Principal investigator:

Prof Nigel Harvey,
Dept of Experimental Psychology, University College London
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
+44 (0)20 7679 5387

Press "Next" to go to the consent form.

In this experiment, you will receive a number of graphs such as the one depicted below. The grey line depicts the sales (y-axis) of a product during a time period of 50 weeks (x-axis). It is your job to study the sales history and make a forecast of what you think the sales will be in week 51. You can do this by simply clicking on the graph on the estimated sales point at x 51. Try to be as accurate as possible!

Once you have done so, an orange line will appear, representing a statistical forecasting model. You can see how it performed it in the past, and what it predicts for week 51. You can now choose to adapt your initial forecast by dragging it with your mouse: moving your mouse will activate the dragging feature by changing the mouse crosshair to a hand . Grab the data point of the initial forecast and drag it up or downwards to your intended forecast.

If you are satisfied with your forecast, press 'View feedback'.

The green line that appears is the actual sales value of week 51, which you were meant to predict. You will receive information on your forecast error, that of the model, and whether or not you performed better than the model.

Do your best, because the top 3 performers get a cash prize of 5£! Ready? Start!

Please provide us with your age and gender.

Background information:
Age (in numbers; e.g., "47", not "forty-seven"):

To be eligible for the reward in case you are one of the top performers, please input your e-mail below. This will only be used for contacting you if you are one of the winners, and not for any further identification purposes. This information will be deleted afterwards.

You can now drag your initial forecast into the position you want it to be.
Press the 'next graph' button when you are finished.