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Expert Political Judgment
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix Preface xi Preface to the 2017 Edition xvii 1 Quantifying the Unquantifiable 1 2 The Ego-deflating Challenge of Radical Skepticism 25 3 Knowing the Limits of One's Knowledge: Foxes Have Better Calibration and Discrimination Scores than Hedgehogs 67 4 Honoring Reputational Bets: Foxes Are Better Bayesians than Hedgehogs 121 5 Contemplating Counterfactuals: Foxes Are More Willing than Hedgehogs to Entertain Self-subversive Scenarios 144 6 The Hedgehogs Strike Back 164 7 Are We Open-minded Enough to Acknowledge the Limits of Open-mindedness? 189 8 Exploring the Limits on Objectivity and Accountability 216 Methodological Appendix 239 Technical Appendix Phillip Rescober and Philip E. Tetlock 273 Index 313

About the Author

Philip E. Tetlock is Mitchell Professor of Leadership at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics (Princeton).

Reviews

"It is the somewhat gratifying lesson of Philip Tetlock's new book ... that people who make prediction their business--people who appear as experts on television, get quoted in newspaper articles, advise governments and businesses, and participate in punditry roundtables--are no better than the rest of us. When they're wrong, they're rarely held accountable, and they rarely admit it, either... It would be nice if there were fewer partisans on television disguised as "analysts" and "experts"... But the best lesson of Tetlock's book may be the one that he seems most reluctant to draw: Think for yourself."--Louis Menand, The New Yorker "The definitive work on this question... Tetlock systematically collected a vast number of individual forecasts about political and economic events, made by recognised experts over a period of more than 20 years. He showed that these forecasts were not very much better than making predictions by chance, and also that experts performed only slightly better than the average person who was casually informed about the subject in hand."--Gavyn Davies, Financial Times "Before anyone turns an ear to the panels of pundits, they might do well to obtain a copy of Phillip Tetlock's new book Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? The Berkeley psychiatrist has apparently made a 20-year study of predictions by the sorts who appear as experts on TV and get quoted in newspapers and found that they are no better than the rest of us at prognostication."--Jim Coyle, Toronto Star "Tetlock uses science and policy to brilliantly explore what constitutes good judgment in predicting future events and to examine why experts are often wrong in their forecasts."--Choice "[This] book ... Marshals powerful evidence to make [its] case. Expert Political Judgment ... Summarizes the results of a truly amazing research project... The question that screams out from the data is why the world keeps believing that "experts" exist at all."--Geoffrey Colvin, Fortune "Philip Tetlock has just produced a study which suggests we should view expertise in political forecasting--by academics or intelligence analysts, independent pundits, journalists or institutional specialists--with the same skepticism that the well-informed now apply to stockmarket forecasting... It is the scientific spirit with which he tackled his project that is the most notable thing about his book, but the findings of his inquiry are important and, for both reasons, everyone seriously concerned with forecasting, political risk, strategic analysis and public policy debate would do well to read the book."--Paul Monk, Australian Financial Review "Phillip E. Tetlock does a remarkable job ... applying the high-end statistical and methodological tools of social science to the alchemistic world of the political prognosticator. The result is a fascinating blend of science and storytelling, in the the best sense of both words."--William D. Crano, PsysCRITIQUES "Mr. Tetlock's analysis is about political judgment but equally relevant to economic and commercial assessments."--John Kay, Financial Times "Why do most political experts prove to be wrong most of time? For an answer, you might want to browse through a very fascinating study by Philip Tetlock ... who in Expert Political Judgment contends that there is no direct correlation between the intelligence and knowledge of the political expert and the quality of his or her forecasts. If you want to know whether this or that pundit is making a correct prediction, don't ask yourself what he or she is thinking--but how he or she is thinking."--Leon Hadar, Business Times

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