Among its many benefits, academic research can help you win the office Oscar pool. Just go to the Web site of Iain Pardoe, who holds the Hamletesque title of associate professor of Decision Sciences at the University of Oregon.
In a 2008 edition of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Pardoe explained how he and his collaborator, Dean Keith Simonton, came up with a prediction model based on “discrete choice models.”
Utilizing statistics dating back to 1936, they have determined that certain factors make getting an Academy Award more likely (receiving a Golden Globe, or having been nominated for an Oscar previously), while others make it less likely (such as having won a Best Actor or Actress award in the past).
Last year, in the major categories (picture, director, actor and actress), they were four for four — an accomplishment worthy of an Academic Award.
Nothing stirs debates over movies like the Academy Awards. For more on the studies of Oscar, check out these stories when they're released in the coming days:
Does an Academy Award Really Denote Quality? (available now)
Death and the Oscar Winner (March 5)
Oscar Winners Should Thank Their Economist (March 6)
This year, they don’t see any close calls among the four top categories. They give The Hurt Locker a 78 percent chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar, and its director Kathryn Bigelow a 94 percent chance of winning Best Director. They give both Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock a 90 percent chance of winning Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively.
As for Best Documentary Short, you’re on your own.