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The Art and Science of Prediction

Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner

New York Times Bestseller
An Economist Best Book of 2015

“The most important book on decision making since Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow.”
—Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal

Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week’s meals. Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts’ predictions are only slightly better than chance. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight, and Tetlock has spent the past decade trying to figure out why. What makes some people so good? And can this talent be taught?

In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events. Some of the volunteers have turned out to be astonishingly good. They’ve beaten other benchmarks, competitors, and prediction markets. They’ve even beaten the collective judgment of intelligence analysts with access to classified information. They are “superforecasters.”

In this groundbreaking and accessible book, Tetlock and Gardner show us how we can learn from this elite group. Weaving together stories of forecasting successes (the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound) and failures (the Bay of Pigs) and interviews with a range of high-level decision makers, from David Petraeus to Robert Rubin, they show that good forecasting doesn’t require powerful computers or arcane methods. It involves gathering evidence from a variety of sources, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit error and change course. Superforecasting offers the first demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future—whether in business, finance, politics, international affairs, or daily life—and is destined to become a modern classic.

From the Hardcover edition.

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About the Authors

Philip E. Tetlock

Philip E. Tetlock is the Leonore Annenberg University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and holds appointments in the psychology and political science departments and The Wharton School. He has published roughly 200 articles in peer-refereed journals and edited or written 10 books including his most recent book (with Dan Gardner), Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, A New York Times Bestseller and an Economist Best Book of 2015. ... More

Dan Gardner

Dan Gardner is the New York Times best-selling author of books about psychology and decision-making and a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. His books have been published in 24 countries and 19 languages. In addition to writing, Gardner lectures around the world on forecasting, risk, and decision-making. He also consults on how to improve decision-making and implementation. ... More

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