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.
Philip E. Tetlock
With a new preface by the author
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