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Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction


Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

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    Available in PDF Format | Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction.pdf | English
    Philip Tetlock(Author) Dan Gardner(Author) Joel Richards(Narrator)

'A manual for thinking clearly in an uncertain world. Read it.' Daniel Kahneman

What if we could improve our ability to predict the future?

Everything we do involves forecasts about how the future will unfold. Whether buying a new house or changing job, designing a new product or getting married, our decisions are governed by implicit predictions of how things are likely to turn out. The problem is, we're not very good at it.

In a landmark, twenty-year study, Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed that the average expert was only slightly better at predicting the future than a layperson using random guesswork. Tetlock's latest project – an unprecedented, government-funded forecasting tournament involving over a million individual predictions – has since shown that there are, however, some people with real, demonstrable foresight. These are ordinary people, from former ballroom dancers to retired computer programmers, who have an extraordinary ability to predict the future with a degree of accuracy 60% greater than average. They are superforecasters.

In Superforecasting, Tetlock and his co-author Dan Gardner offer a fascinating insight into what we can learn from this elite group. They show the methods used by these superforecasters which enable them to outperform even professional intelligence analysts with access to classified data. And they offer practical advice on how we can all use these methods for our own benefit – whether in business, in international affairs, or in everyday life.

'The techniques and habits of mind set out in this book are a gift to anyone who has to think about what the future might bring. In other words, to everyone.' Economist

'A terrific piece of work that deserves to be widely read . . . Highly recommended.' Independent

'The best thing I have read on predictions . . . Superforecasting is an indispensable guide to this indispensable activity' The Times

"The techniques and habits of mind set out in this book are a gift to anyone who has to think about what the future might bring. In other words, to everyone." (Economist)"A terrific piece of work that deserves to be widely read . . . Highly recommended." (Independent)"This marvelous book tells an exciting story of ordinary people beating experts in a very serious game. It is also a manual for thinking clearly in an uncertain world. Read it." (Daniel Kahneman)"Full of excellent advice – it is the best thing I have read on predictions . . . Superforecasting is an indispensable guide to this indispensable activity." (The Times)"Philip Tetlock has transformed the science of prediction." (Spectator)"The most important book on decision making since Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow." (Wall Street Journal)"Fascinating and breezily written." (Sunday Times)"Superforecasting is a fascinating book." (Daily Mail)"Superforecasting is a very good book. In fact it is essential reading." (Management Today)"The best way to know if an idea is right is to see if it predicts the future. But which ideas, which methods, which people have a track record of non-obvious predictions vindicated by the course of events? The answers will surprise you, and they have radical implications for politics, policy, journalism, education, and even epistemology – how we can best gain knowledge about the world. The casual style of Superforecasting belies the profundity of its message." (Steven Pinker)"Superforecasting is a rare book that will make you smarter and wiser. One of the giants of behavioral science reveals how to improve at predicting the future." (Adam Grant)"The material in Superforecasting is new, and includes a compendium of best practices for prediction . . . [It offers] us all an opportunity to understand and react more intelligently to the confusing world around us." (New York Times Book Review)"Tetlock's 'Ten Commandments For Aspiring Superforecasters' should probably have a place of honor in most business meeting rooms." (Forbes)"There isn't a social scientist in the world I admire more than Phil Tetlock." (Tim Harford)"Superforecasting is the most important scientific study I’ve ever read on prediction." (Bloomberg View)"A fascinating study of what it is that makes some forecasters consistently better than others." (International Politico)"Tetlock's work is fascinating and important, and he and Gardner have written it up with verve. - Financial Times " (Stephen Cave)"Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner, is one of the most interesting business and finance books published in 2015." (John Kay Financial Times)"The lessons of superforecasting are keenly relevant to huge swathes of our lives." (Matthew Syed The Times)"Tetlock writes boldly about wanting to improve what he sees as the bloated, expensive – and not terribly accurate – intelligence apparatus that advises our politicians and drives global affairs." (City A.M.)"Philip Tetlock’s Superforecasting is a common-sense guide to thinking about decision-making and the future by a man who knows this terrain like no one else." (Books of the Year Bloomberg Business)"What I found most interesting was the continuous process of integrating new information to test and modify existing beliefs … clearly a beneficial skill in financial markets" (Citywire)"Social science has enormous potential, especially when it combines 'rigorous empiricism with a resistance to absolute answers.' The work of Philip Tetlock possesses these qualities." (Scientific American)"A fascinating book." (PR Week)"Offers a valuable insight into the future of management." (CMI Management Book of the Year judges)"Both rigorous and readable. The lessons are directly relevant to business, finance, government, and politics." (Books of the Year Bloomberg Business)"A scientific analysis of the ancient art of divination which shows that forecasting is a talent." (Books of the Year Economist)"A top choice [for best book of 2015] among the world’s biggest names in finance and economics . . . Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer, Deutsche Bank Chief U.S. Economist Joe LaVorgna, and Citigroup Vice Chairman Peter Orszag were among those giving it a thumbs-up." (Bloomberg Businessweek)"Just as modern medicine began when a farsighted few began to collect data and keep track of outcomes, to trust objective 'scoring' over their own intuitions, it's time now for similar demands to be made of the experts who lead public opinion. It's time for evidence-based forecasting." (Washington Post)"Tetlock and his colleagues [have] found that there is such a thing as foresight, and it’s not a gift that’s bestowed upon special people, but is a skill that can be learned and developed . . . To obtain this apparent superpower does not take a PhD or an exceptionally high IQ; it takes a certain mindset." (Guardian)"Captivating . . . [Tetlock's] writing is so engaging and his argument so tantalizing, readers will quickly be drawn into the challenge . . . A must-read field guide for the intellectually curious." (Kirkus Reviews)"Tetlock and Gardner believe anyone can improve their forecasting ability by learning from the way they work. If that's true, people in business and finance who make an effort to do so have a lot to gain – and those who don't, much to lose." (Financial Post) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review Text

  • By Friðrik Bragi Dýrfjörð on 3 December 2016

    "Experts are about as accurate as chimps when predicting the future". This tidbit, so often mentioned when discussing (or dismissing) expert opinion or predictions, originates from the research of Mr. Tetlock on Expert Political Judgement. A natural next step was figuring out if anyone could reliably answer questions about the not so distant future and the result was the Good Judgment Project. The main results are detailed in this book, there indeed exists a group of super-forecasters who manage to constantly out-predict the chimps and experts in the intelligence community. The book describes some of the characteristics of a super-forecaster. Not surprisingly they are, in general, good with numbers and ingest a lot of information. They tend to be slow thinkers, in the sense of Kahneman, and at least in some cases not as much affected by cognitive biases. Super-forecasters, however, are not super-human. Forecasting is a skill that can be learnt or improved.

  • By Karl Fung on 23 August 2017

    A great book that shows what differentiates superforecasters - those who score a 60% greater degree of accuracy than ordinary forecasters, compared to, well, ordinary forecasters. The author structures each of the attributes into its own chapter with well known historic examples, such as why the intelligence community got it so wrong with Iraq's WMD program, to how they later made substantial changes and how that was put into effect on the killing of Osama bin Laden.The book also makes two very important points about forecasting, that most predictions that we encounter on TV or from pundits are either ambiguous with no specific actions, or that the timeframes are unclear, bringing it to the level where it's basically impossible to refute the initial claim. Setting clear results and timeframes is an important prerequisite to becoming a better forecasters, as these predictions can later be turned into feedback.The second point is that forecasting is definitely not a trait that only a selected few geniuses are able to perform, in fact the author shows that most superforecasters are actually ordinary people that follow a set of methods which anyone can learn and master through practising. I recommend anyone who is interested in improving their prediction skills to have a read of this book.

  • By Perpetual Skeptic on 3 June 2017

    Many fields of human endeavour depend on making forecasts. Being able to make good ones, based on evidence, which avoid most of the now better-recognised cognitive biases we're all susceptible to, is the substance of this book. It ought to be required reading for all decision makers and especially CEOs.

  • By M. P. Wills on 13 August 2017

    Great book, a bit padded at times with a few too many anecdotes but still a great educational read. Learnt a lot just need to now work out how to apply it 😁

  • By Guest on 14 August 2017

    Gives insights into how the best do it and some guidelines as to how one can improve their own ability to forecast. Very comprehensive.

  • By D. Lye on 3 November 2015

    If you want to understand what will happen in the future, do you ask a distinguished tv pundit, or do you go to a chimp throwing darts at a board? Philip Tetlock's very readable book explains that you'd be better off with the chimp. Sadly talking heads are mostly good at telling you what is going to happen, and then explaining afterwards why it didn't - or insisting against all the evidence, that actually, it did.He then goes on to show that there are so-called "superforecasters", but they aren't the experts in academia, the media and politics, and reveals the science behind superforecasting. Anyone reasonably intelligent can learn it. This is a refreshing and positive book. But it leaves you wondering why Governments and big corporations are not beating a path to Tetlock's door.

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