Roasting Faith Popcorn

“Burned Popcorn and Broken Crystal Balls: Beware of False Prophets Bearing Food,” Ed Chung, Hiroshi Nakamura and Amy Spielbauer, in Proceedings: Marketing Management Association Spring Conference 1999. R. Green, D.Varble and G. Wunder, eds.. Chicago, 1999 . The authors, at St. Norbert College, Wisconsin, report:

“In the late 1980’s, Faith Popcorn forecasted the trends of the 1990’s, and published her Popcorn Report. While her forecasts were (and still are) eagerly swallowed by the uninitiated, serious students of business should be skeptical of conclusions drawn on no more than opinions. The purposes of this paper are to inspect her forecasts on The Popcorn Report and to attempt to debunk the myths that The Popcorn Report promulgates with the use of evidence to the contrary…. The paper is not meant as an attack on Popcorn, but as a reminder to business people (practitioners and academics alike) that fortune telling is not a science and should be used with care.”

(That’s an excerpt from the article “Burnt Food Research Review,” published in AIR 14:4.)