The Delphi technique is a structured forecasting and decision-making method that assesses and summarizes the individually held opinions and judgments of group members with little or no discussion or deliberation among the members. Named for the legendary Delphic oracle, this method involves surveying members repeatedly, with the results of each round of surveys informing the framing of the questions for subsequent rounds. The Delphi technique avoids some of the limitations of traditional group decision-making procedures and is particularly useful when the group members are so widely divided on issues that a face-to-face discussion will not be productive.

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Copyright © 2010 SAGE Publications, Inc. This article first appeared inEncyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.

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