Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST 

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.
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About the author

Philip E. Tetlock is the Annenberg University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and holds appointments in the psychology and political science departments and the Wharton School of Business. He and his wife, Barbara Mellers, are the co-leaders of the Good Judgment Project, a multi-year forecasting study. He is also the author of Expert Political Judgment and (with Aaron Belkin) Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics.
 
Dan Gardner is a journalist and the author of Risk and Future Babble: Why Pundits are Hedgehogs and Foxes Know Best.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown
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Published on
Sep 29, 2015
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780804136709
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Forecasting
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Social Science / Future Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is the first book to explain why people misunderstand economics. From the cognitive shortcuts we use to make sense of complex information, to the metaphors we rely on and their effect on our thinking, this important book lays bare not only the psychological traits that distort our ability to understand such a vital topic, but also what this means for policy makers and civil society more widely.

Accessibly written, the book explores the mismatch between the complexities of economics and the constraints of human cognition that lie at the root of our misconceptions. The authors document and explain the gamut of cognitive strategies laypeople employ as they grapple with such complex topics as inflation, unemployment, economic crises, finance, and money in the modern economy. The book examines sources of misconceptions ranging from the intentionality fallacy, whereby economic phenomena are assumed to have been caused deliberately rather than to have come about by an interplay of many agents and causal factors, to the role of ideology in framing economic thinking.

Exposing the underlying biases and assumptions that undermine financial and economic literacy, and concluding with recommendations for how policies and ideas should be framed to enable a clearer understanding, this will be essential reading not only for students and researchers across psychology and economics, but also anyone interested in progressive public policy.

Visit the associated website for the book here: http://www.misunderstandeconomics.com/

The American workforce and the American workplace are rapidly changing—in ways that make them increasingly incompatible. Advances in automation and telecommunications have eliminated many jobs based on routine tasks and muscle power and fueled the demand for employees who can understand and apply new technologies. But, as Earl Hunt convincingly demonstrates in Will We Be Smart Enough?, such "smart" employees will be in dangerously short supply unless fundamental changes are made to our educational and vocational systems. Will We Be Smart Enough? combines cognitive theory, demographic projections, and psychometric research to measure the capabilities of tomorrow's workforce against the needs of tomorrow's workplace. Characterized by sophisticated machinery, instant global communication, and continuous reorganization, the workplace will call for people to fuse multiple responsibilities, adapt quickly to new trends, and take a creative approach to problem solving. Will Americans be able to meet the difficult and unprecedented challenges brought about by these innovations? Hunt examines data from demographic sources and a broad array of intelligence tests, whose fairness and validity he judiciously assesses. He shows that the U.S. labor force will be increasingly populated by older workers, who frequently lack the cognitive flexibility required by rapid change, and by racial and ethnic minorities, who have so far not fully benefitted from the nation's schools to develop the cognitive skills necessary in a technologically advanced workplace. At the heart of Will We Be Smart Enough? lies the premise that this forecast can be altered, and that cognitive skills can be widely and successfully taught. Hunt applies psychological principles of learning and cognitive science to a variety of experimental teaching programs, and shows how the information revolution, which has created such rapid change in the workplace, can also be used to transform the educational process and nurture the skills that the workplace of the future will require. Will We Be Smart Enough? answers naysayers who pronounce so many people "cognitively disadvantaged" by suggesting that new forms of education can provide workers with enhanced skills and productive employment in the twenty-first century. "Hunt's book provides succinct, lucid presentations of our best scientific understandings of thinking, intelligence, job performance, and how to measure them. Only by comprehending and applying these understandings to develop sound educational and instructional strategies can we create a capable workforce for the digital age." —John T. Bruer, President, James S. McDonnell Foundation
Since its original publication, Expert Political Judgment by New York Times bestselling author Philip Tetlock has established itself as a contemporary classic in the literature on evaluating expert opinion.

Tetlock first discusses arguments about whether the world is too complex for people to find the tools to understand political phenomena, let alone predict the future. He evaluates predictions from experts in different fields, comparing them to predictions by well-informed laity or those based on simple extrapolation from current trends. He goes on to analyze which styles of thinking are more successful in forecasting. Classifying thinking styles using Isaiah Berlin's prototypes of the fox and the hedgehog, Tetlock contends that the fox--the thinker who knows many little things, draws from an eclectic array of traditions, and is better able to improvise in response to changing events--is more successful in predicting the future than the hedgehog, who knows one big thing, toils devotedly within one tradition, and imposes formulaic solutions on ill-defined problems. He notes a perversely inverse relationship between the best scientific indicators of good judgement and the qualities that the media most prizes in pundits--the single-minded determination required to prevail in ideological combat.


Clearly written and impeccably researched, the book fills a huge void in the literature on evaluating expert opinion. It will appeal across many academic disciplines as well as to corporations seeking to develop standards for judging expert decision-making. Now with a new preface in which Tetlock discusses the latest research in the field, the book explores what constitutes good judgment in predicting future events and looks at why experts are often wrong in their forecasts.

Major New York Times bestseller
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012
Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.

A New York Times Bestseller

From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives

Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture—can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends—interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning—and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kelly’s bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading—what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place—as this new world emerges.
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