Delphi method(redirected from Delphic method)
Also found in: Medical.
Delphi methoda method of researching, with the aim of perhaps FORECASTING, future events. This involves marshalling the views, either by interviews or meetings, of a panel of‘experts’ who are thought likely to be well placed to estimate future trends in the field in question. The method is named after the temple of Apollo at Delphi in Ancient Greece, famous for its oracle, whose priestesses were renowned for the highly cryptic character of their prophecies. How far ‘experts’ are always in the best position to provide useful forecasts of events is debatable. Experts, by definition having a particular view of the world, may be good at extrapolating trends or tendencies already well established, but they may be less good at spotting insidious change or the ‘unexpected’, which an outsider may be better placed to do. See also FUTUROLOGY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000