The Art and Science of Prediction

Crown, 2015 more...

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Applicable


Would you like to learn how to predict future events with greater certainty? Sorry, that’s almost impossible. But you can learn to draw more accurate insights about what may happen by studying what is right in front of you and projecting those insights into the very near future. Philip E. Tetlock, a renowned behavioral scientist and author of Expert Political Judgment, teams up with author and journalist Dan Gardner to provide a clear overview of the methods and pitfalls of trying to see what’s coming. This isn’t a self-help book that will turn you into an accurate predictor of future events. Instead, it’s something much more unusual and more valuable: a readable, unpretentious, accessible guide to analyzing your own thought processes and applying your perceptions to considering the future more productively. Tetlock’s prodigious insights and methods can be helpful tools for anyone willing to use the right blend of skeptical thinking and open-mindedness to consider scenarios and to solve problems.

Tetlock offers a wealth of anecdotes to demonstrate how to apply the most desirable combinations of instinct, rational thought, will, intuition, patience, rashness, education, stupidity, street smarts and foolhardiness to make the most sense of your world based on whatever evidence you can glean. He writes with grace and drive, and his level of straightforward common sense is rare in academics and almost invisible in the future-predicting pundit class he derides. Tetlock’s basic message is that nobody can see the far-off future, but with a little insight, you can predict what might happen next week if you pay sufficient attention to what’s happening right now.

Tetlock offers these lessons and highlights:

About the Authors

Philip E. Tetlock, the Annenberg University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania with appointments at the Wharton School and the School of Arts and Sciences, co-leads the Good Judgment Project, wrote Expert Political Judgment, and co-wrote – with Aaron Belkin – Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics. Journalist Dan Gardner wrote Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear and Future Babble.

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