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News» {{qctrl.question.primary_project.name}}

🔗 Conditionals Now Support Question Groups

by christian {{qctrl.question.publish_time | dateStr}} Edited on {{qctrl.question.edited_time | dateStr}} {{"estimatedReadingTime" | translate:({minutes: qctrl.question.estimateReadingTime()})}}
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  • Now you can explore more relationships between more forecast questions, with conditional pairs that feature question group subquestions. Here's how to submit your own: 

    1. Click 'Write a Question'

    2. Select 'conditional pair' as the Question Type

    3. Click 'Select Parent' and/or 'Select Child'

    4. Search for the subquestion name, which will be indicated in parentheses after the group name, or paste in the URL of the subquestion

    Note: You can copy the URL of a subquestion by visiting the question group page, clicking the ‘...’ more options menu, and selecting the ‘Copy Link’ option next to the subquestion you’re focused on.


    In addition to submitting a new conditional yourself, you can also request questions here in the new question discussion post.

    Get Started

    Here are some new subquestion conditional pairs to start forecasting on:

    Creating Clarity [Originally posted February 16th, 2023]

    Curious to learn the likelihood of an event given the outcome of another? Now you can create conditional pairs of binary questions and invite forecasters to share their predictions to clarify the relationships between events.

    conditionalimage Not yet familiar with conditional pairs? Scroll down to 'Introducing Conditional Pairs' or watch this introductory video to get up to speed.

    Getting Started

    Ready to create your first conditional pair?

    • Click Write a Question in the navigation bar.
    • Then pick ‘conditional pair’ from the Question Type field.
    • Select an existing binary question as the Parent and another as the Child.

    After you submit your conditional pair, moderators will review it for introduction to the question feed. (Learn more about question writing and the approval process here.)

    What Makes a Good Conditional Pair?

    Is there likely an interesting relationship between two outcomes? Perhaps they’re causally related and one follows another. Or maybe one factor is likely to drive both, and one resolving positively makes it more likely that the other will too.

    Here are several potential Parent and Child questions that aren’t yet set up as conditional pairs, but could be:

    IF the US does not ban TikTok before 2024 (Parent)
    WILL TikTok US be sold to a US entity before 2024? (Child)

    IF Ukraine severs the land bridge between Crimea and Russia before 2024 (Parent)
    WILL Russia control any formerly Ukrainian territories? (Child)

    Feed Refresh

    Did we mention conditional pairs have a fresh look to emphasize the relationship between Parent and Child? Click the Filter in the question feed and select Conditional as the Question Type to find more! conditionaltile

    We can’t wait to see what conditional pairs you create! Share your feedback in the comments.

    2023-3-31 Update

    Knowing the community predictions for each conditional question can be clarifying. Knowing how many of which predictions can be more clarifying still.

    Conditional Pairs now feature histograms so you can see the distribution of forecasts for Yes and No conditions, giving you more information for when you predict.


    To find them, select the histogram tab above a conditional pair's timeline.

    Introducing Conditional Pairs [2023-2-26]

    Predict P(A|B) & P(A|not B)

    Events don't take place in isolation. Often we want to know the likelihood of an event occurring if another event does.

    Today we're thrilled to introduce conditional pairs, a new kind of forecast question that helps you forecast the probability of an event given the outcome of another, bringing greater clarity to the relationship between them.


    Check out our video explainer to see how you can use conditional pairs.

    How does it work?

    A conditional pair poses two conditional questions (or "conditionals"):

    1. If Question B resolves Yes how will Question A resolve?
    2. If Question B resolves No how will Question A resolve?

    For example, we may want to forecast on a question such as this:

    The forecast depends—on many things. But consider a critical factor: Bing's share of the market.

    And so if we knew that Bing's search engine market would be least 5% in March of 2024, we could make a more informed forecast. We might assign greater likelihood to Alphabet's decline.

    Our conditional pair is then:

    1. If Bing's market share is more than 5% in March, 2024, will Alphabet's market capitalization fall below $1 trillion?
    2. If Bing's market share is not more than 5% in March, 2024, will Alphabet's market capitalization fall below $1 trillion?

    (You can start forecasting on this conditional pair here.)


    Two forecasters could have the same forecasts for Bing’s market share and Alphabet’s market cap, while having very different mental models of their relationship. Conditional pairs help make these sometimes implicit differences explicit so they can be discussed and scored.

    Terms & Conditions

    Conditional pairs like the above are composed of a "Parent Question" and a "Child Question."

    • Parent: Bing has 5% Market Share by March, 2024
    • Child: Alphabet's Market Cap is Below $1 Trillion by 2025

    Forecasts are made for the Child question conditional on the outcome of the Parent. Below we see that:

    • In a world where Bing reaches 5% market share, the Metaculus community predicts Alphabet's decline is 56% likely.
    • In a world where Bing does not reach 5% market share, the Metaculus community predicts Alphabet's decline is 44% likely.


    How Does Scoring Work?

    Only the conditional question that corresponds to the Parent's outcome is scored. If the Parent resolves Yes, scoring is determined by forecasts on the IF YES question (and vice versa).

    Imagine that:

    • Bing does not reach 5%
    • Alphabet's market cap does decline

    Because the Parent did not occur, only the IF NOT forecast will be scored. And because the Child did occur, it will be scored like a normal binary question that resolved Yes.

    Candidate Conditional Pairs

    Here are some newly created conditional pairs to get you started:

    Today's launch is for binary conditionals only. We plan to expand conditionals to continuous questions and to give forecasters more tools for forecasting on the relationships between questions.

    Conditional pairs are a step toward our larger goal of empowering forecasters and forecast consumers to quantify and understand the impact of particular events and policy decisions.

    We can't wait to learn from the Metaculus community as you experiment with this new feature and share your feedback. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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