Summary of Expert Political Judgment

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Expert Political Judgment book summary


8 Overall

6 Applicability

9 Innovation

5 Style


If you want to find out what makes a forecaster a real expert or a lucky guesser, this book explains the complicated set of necessary talents. Author Philip E. Tetlock is a researcher and political psychologist. He tracks a wide academic path into psychological investigations about predicting the future - in business, politics or other arenas - and the implications of its results. He finds some surprises, especially in the study of objectivity and how people think. He explains psychological experiments on forecasting, and uses them as a trail through tangles of complex research. As you climb, enjoy the occasional clearings where some great ideas (such as Amos Twersky’s "Support Theory") come to light. getAbstract finds Tetlock’s insights worth the journey. Despite its sometimes dense thickets, this book is necessary for people who want to understand the role of self-described "expert" prognosticators. If you wonder why the predictions of political, media and sports forecasters often are not worth heeding, Tetlock shows you how to distill the best from the rest. We recommend this book to journalists, political scientists and managers or executives who rely on "expert" opinions or futuristic scenarios.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to identify an accurate forecaster;
  • Why some forecasters are more accurate than others;
  • How and when to use scenario planning; and
  • Why soothsaying never worked - and still doesn’t.

About the Author

Philip E. Tetlock is a professor of leadership at the University of California, Berkeley. His previous books include Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics.



Who’s the Expert?
People are accustomed to expert opinions. No matter what the topic, an expert is available - often via the media - to explain evolving events and even predict their outcome. What standards can you use to judge if one expert on politics, society or business is better than...

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