Enjoy fast, FREE delivery, exclusive deals and award-winning movies & TV shows with Prime
Try Prime and start saving today with Fast, FREE Delivery
FREE delivery: Sunday, June 4 on orders over $25.00 shipped by Amazon.
Ships from: Amazon.com Sold by: Amazon.com
Other Sellers on Amazon
& FREE Shipping
90% positive over last 12 months
+ $4.80 shipping
96% positive over last 12 months
100% positive over last 12 months
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction Paperback – September 13, 2016
|New from||Used from|
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.
View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.
Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.
Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.
Purchase options and add-ons
“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.
Frequently bought together
A Washington Post Bestseller
A Hudson Booksellers Best Business Interest Book of 2015
Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Winner of the Axiom Business Book Award in Business Theory (Gold Medal)
“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.”
“The material in Superforecasting is new, and includes a compendium of best practices for prediction… The accuracy that ordinary people regularly attained through their meticulous application did amaze me… [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 thesis is that politics and human affairs are not inscrutable mysteries. Instead, they are a bit like weather forecasting, where short-term predictions are possible and reasonably accurate... 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."
"Tetlock’s work is fascinating and important, and he and Gardner have written it up here with verve."
—The Financial Times
“Superforecasting is the most important scientific study I’ve ever read on prediction.”
—Cass R. Sunstein, The Bloomberg View
"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."
—The Washington Post
"Superforecasting, by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner, is one of the most interesting business and finance books published in 2015.”
—John Kay, The Financial Times
"One of Tetlock's key points is that these aren't innate skills: they can be both taught and learned... Tetlock's 'Ten Commandments For Aspiring Superforecasters' should probably have a place of honor in most business meeting rooms."
"The key to becoming a better forecaster, if not a super one, according to Tetlock is the same as any other endeavor: practice, practice, practice."
"In this captivating book, Tetlock argues that success is all about the approach: foresight is not a gift but rather a product of a particular way of thinking... In each chapter, the author augments his research with compelling interviews, anecdotes, and historical context, using accessible real-world examples to frame what could otherwise be dense subject matter. His writing is so engaging and his argument so tantalizing, readers will quickly be drawn into the challenge - in the appendix, the author provides a concise training manual to do just that. A must-read field guide for the intellectually curious."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred
"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."
—The Financial Post
"Superforecasting is a very good book. In fact it is essential reading — which I have never said in any of my previous MT reviews... It should be on every manager's and investor's reading list around the topics du jour of decision-making, prediction and behavioural economics."
"I've been hard on social science, even suggesting that 'social science' is an oxymoron. I noted, however, that 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."
"One of the best books I've read this year... Superforecasting is a must read book."
"Keen to show that not all forecasting is a flop, Tetlock has conducted a new experiment that shows how you can make good forecasts, ones that routinely improve on predictions made by even the most well-informed expert. The book is full of excellent advice — it is the best thing I have read on predictions, which is a subject I am keen on... Gardner has turned the research into readable examples and a flowing text, without losing rigour... This book shows that you can be better at forecasting."
—The Times of London
"We now expect every medicine to be tested before it is used. We ought to expect that everybody who aspires to high office is trained to understand why they are so likely to make mistakes forecasting complex events... Politics is harder than physics but Tetlock has shown that it doesn't have to be like astrology."
“Philip Tetlock is the world expert on a vital subject. Superforecasting is the wonderful story of how he and his research team got ordinary people to beat experts in a very serious game. It is also a manual for thinking clearly in an uncertain world. Read it.”
—Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
“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, New York Times bestselling author of Originals
“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, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature
“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.”
—Ian Bremmer, Bloomberg Business’ Best Books of 2015
“In this accessible and lively book, Tetlock and Gardner recognize the centrality of probabilistic thinking to sound forecasting. Whether you are a policymaker or anyone else who wants to approach decisions with great rigor, Superforecasting will serve as a highly useful guide.”
—Robert E. Rubin, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary
“How well can we predict the future, really? There is no better way to answer that question than to read this book. You will come away disillusioned about the ability of experts, but also enlightened about how the best forecasters do it—and maybe even hopeful about your own prospects.”
—Tyler Cowen, Director of the George Mason University Mercatus Center and author of Average Is Over
“For thousands of years, people have listened to those who foretold the future with confidence and little accountability. In this book, Tetlock and Gardner free us from our foolishness. Full of great stories and simple statistics, Superforecasting gives us a new way of thinking about the complexity of the world, the limitations of our minds, and why some people can consistently outpredict a dart-throwing chimp. Tetlock’s research has the potential to revolutionize foreign policy, economic policy, and your own day-to-day decisions.”
—Jonathan Haidt, New York University Stern School of Business, and author of The Righteous Mind
“[Superforecasting] shows that you can get information from a lot of different sources. Knowledge is all around us and it doesn’t have to come from the experts.”
—Joe LaVorgna, Bloomberg Business’ Best Books of 2015
“Good judgment and good forecasting are rare, but they turn out to be made of teachable skills. By forcing forecasters to compete, Tetlock discovered what the skills are and how they work, and this book teaches the ability to any interested reader.”
—Stewart Brand, President, The Long Now Foundation
“Philip Tetlock is renowned for demonstrating that most experts are no better than ‘dart-throwing monkeys’ at predicting elections, wars, economic collapses and other events. In his brilliant new book, Tetlock offers a much more hopeful message, based once again on his own ground-breaking research. He shows that certain people can forecast events with accuracy much better than chance—and so, perhaps, can the rest of us, if we emulate the critical thinking of these ‘superforecasters.’ The self-empowerment genre doesn’t get any smarter and more sophisticated than this.”
—John Horgan, Director, Center for Science Writings, Stevens Institute of Technology
“Superforecasting is the rare book that is both scholarly and engaging. The lessons are scientific, compelling, and enormously practical. Anyone who is in the forecasting business—and that’s all of us—should drop what they are doing and read it.”
—Michael J. Mauboussin, Head of Global Financial Strategies, Credit Suisse
“[Superforecasting] highlights the techniques and attributes of superforecasters—that is, those whose predictions have been demonstrated to be remarkably accurate—in a manner that’s both rigorous and readable. The lessons are directly relevant to business, finance, government, and politics.”
—Peter Orszag, Bloomberg Business’ Best Books of 2015
“There isn’t a social scientist in the world I admire more than Phil Tetlock.”
—Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist
“From the Oracle of Delphi to medieval astrologers to modern overconfident experts, forecasters have been either deluded or fraudulent. For the first time, Superforecasting reveals the secret of making honest, reliable, effective, useful judgments about the future.”
—Aaron Brown, Chief Risk Officer of AQR Capital Management and author of The Poker Face of Wall Street
“Socrates had the insight in ‘know thyself,’ Kahneman delivered the science in Thinking, Fast and Slow, and now Tetlock has something we can all apply in Superforecasting.”
—Juan Luis Perez, Global Head of UBS Group Research
About the Author
Dan Gardner is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and consultant. His three books on psychology and decision-making—published in 25 countries and 19 languages—have been praised by everyone from The Economist to Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman. Prior to becoming an author, Gardner was a newspaper columnist, talking head, and investigative journalist who won or was nominated for every major award in Canadian newspaper journalism. He is an honorary senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public Policy and International Affairs and lives in Ottawa, Canada.
- ASIN : 0804136718
- Publisher : Crown; NO-VALUE edition (September 13, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780804136716
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804136716
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2018
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book mentions repeatedly the importance of measurement for assessment and revising forecasts and programs. Many people simply don't create any metrics of anything when they make unverifiable and chronologically ambiguous declarations.
The book emphasizes the importance of receiving this feedback on predictions that measurement allows, as there is a studied gap between confidence and skill in judgment. We have a tendency to be uninterested in accumulating counterfactuals, but we must know when we fail to learn from it. If forecasts are either not made or not quantified and ambiguous, we can't receive clear feedback, so the thought process that led to the forecasts can't be improved upon. Feedback, however, allows for the psychological trap of hindsight bias. This is that when we know the outcome, that knowledge of the outcome skews our perception of what we thought at the time of the prediction and before we knew the outcome.
The main qualities for successful forecasting are being open-minded, careful, and undertaking self-critical thinking with focus, which is not effortless. Commitment to self-improvement is the strongest predictor of long-term performance in measured forecasting. This can basically be considered as equivalent to the popular concept of grit. Studies show that individuals with fixed mindsets do not pay attention to new information that could improve their future predictions. Similarly, forecasts tend to improve when more probabilistic thinking is embraced rather than fatalistic thinking in regards to the perspective that certain events are inevitable.
A few interesting findings that the authors expand upon in more detail in the book: experience is important to have the tacit knowledge essential to the practice of forecasting, and that grit, or perseverance, towards making great forecasts is three times as important as intelligence.
Practices to undertake when forecasting are to create a breakdown of components to the question that you can distinguish and scrutinize your assumptions; develop backwards thinking as answering the questions of what you would need to know to answer the question, and then making appropriate numerical estimations for those questions; practice developing an outside view, which is starting with an anchored view from past experience of others, at first downplaying the problem's uniqueness; explore other potential views regarding the question; and express all aspects and perspectives into a single number that can be manipulated and updated.
Psychological traps to be aware of discussed in the book include confirmation bias, which is a willingness to seek out information that confirms your hypothesis and not seek out information that may contradict it, which is the opposite of discovering counterfactuals; belief perseverance, also known as cognitive dissonance, in which individuals can be incapable of updating their belief in the face of new evidence by rationalization in order to not have their belief upset; scope insensitivity, which is not properly factoring in an important aspect of applicability of scope, such as timeframe, properly into the forecast; and thought type replacement, which is replacing a hard question in analysis with a similar question that's not equivalent but which is much easier to answer.
Researched qualities to strive for as a forecaster: cautious, humble, nondeterministic, actively open-minded, reflective, numerate, pragmatic, analytical, probabilistic, belief updaters, intuitive psychologists, growth mindset.
The authors then delve into a bit of another practical perspective on forecasting, which involves teams. Psychological traps for teams include the known phenomenon known as groupthink, which is that small cohesive groups tend to unconsciously develop shared illusions and norms that are often biased in favor of the group, which interfere with critical thinking regarding objective reality. There is also a tendency for members of the group to leave the hard work of critical thinking to others on the team instead of sharing this work optimally, which when combined with groupthink, leads the group towards tending to feel a sense of completion upon reaching a level of agreement. One idea to keep in mind for management of a group is that the group's collective thinking can be described as a product of the communication of the group itself and not the sum of the thinking of the individual members of a group.
There are some common perceived problems with forecasting, which receive attention in the book: the wrong side of maybe fallacy, which is the thinking that a forecast was bad because the forecast was greater than 50% but the event didn't occur, which can lead to forecasters not willing to be vulnerable with their forecasts; publishing forecasts for all to see, where research shows that public posting of forecasts, with one's name associated with the forecast, creates more open-mindedness and increased performance; and the fallacy that because many factors are unquantifiable due their real complexity, the use of numbers in forecasting is therefore not useful.
Some concepts that I took note of for further research from the book were: Bayesian-based application for belief updating, which is basically a mathematical way of comparing how powerful your past belief was relative to some specific new information, chaos theory, game theory, Monte Carlo methods, and systematic intake of news media. These are concepts that I was particularly interested in from the book based on my own interests and that I have continued to explore. This book was very valuable for cohesively bringing together the above concepts in the context of a compelling story, based on the DARPA research project which was compellingly won by the author's team as a product of the research that led to this groundbreaking book.
Superforecasting will give you insight into much more than forecasting. You’ll learn a lot about how we make decisions and the role that cognitive biases play. You’ll discover how to lead more effectively. You’ll also discover how we’re improving the way we make forecasts and decisions.
Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner compare the current state of forecasting and decision-making to the state of medicine in the 19th century. Here’s how they phrase it.
“All too often, forecasting in the twenty-first century looks too much like nineteenth-century medicine. There are theories, assertions, and arguments. There are famous figures, as confident as they are well compensated. But there is little experimentation, or anything that could be called science, so we know much less than most people realize. And we pay the price. Although bad forecasting rarely leads as obviously to harm as does bad medicine, it steers us subtly toward bad decisions and all that flows from them—including monetary losses, missed opportunities, unnecessary suffering, even war and death.”
That sounds dreadful. But the authors think you can improve your forecasting and decision-making. You can learn from what superforecasters do. That’s what Superforecasting is about.
Start by paying attention to the process. Increase the number of your information inputs. Learn how to ask pointed questions. Watch out for cognitive biases and what the authors called “bait and switch.” Here’s Philip Tetlock’s description of “bait and switch.”
“Formally, it’s called attribute substitution, but I call it bait and switch: when faced with a hard question, we often surreptitiously replace it with an easy one.”
Personally, that was one of my powerful takeaways from this book. I’ve become acutely aware of how often I do a bait and switch when I’m analyzing information.
Make precise forecasts. Replace the equivalent of, “I think it might rain” with “I think there’s a 70% possibility of rain before 5:00 PM.”
Once you’ve done the hard work of developing a preliminary forecast adjust it as you gather more data and insight. Superforecasters adjust their forecasts frequently and in small increments.
There’s one more thing you need to do. You need to review your forecasting performance. As with learning and mastering any other skill, you need good feedback and reflection.
There’s one more big insight in this book. You’ll make better forecasts if you combine the practices of superforecasters with the practices of people the authors call “super questioners.”
That covers the basics of the book, but it doesn’t give you an idea of how rich the material is. Several things in Superforecasting are worth the price of the book all by themselves.
The leadership chapter is excellent. There’s a lot of good material about both making good leadership decisions and conveying those decisions to others.
The book gives you an excellent discussion of Daniel Kahneman’s systems 1 and 2. As you read the book, you’re also reading an excellent review of cognitive biases.
I loved the many historical examples. I learned a lot from analyses of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crises, even though I’ve read a lot about both. The authors tell the story of the CIA analysis of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
In a Nutshell
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction will give you insight into much more than forecasting. If you apply what you learn from this book, you will make better forecasts and better decisions. You’ll also be able to improve your leadership and help create more effective teams.
Top reviews from other countries
The issue with the book is not the material of the content but the padding. There seems to be a lot of it. This is a 300+ page book that can be edited down to half the size without losing information. Many of the same examples of Superforecasting were repeated more than once.
It was funny to read that a lot of businesses are not actually that interested if a forecast is right or wrong provided the forecast tells them what they want to hear. Talking from experience I know this to be true. In addition other forecasters are reluctant to revisit old forecasts in fear of exposing their inaccuracies, which to me, made zero sense and I am glad Tetlock agrees with this view.
Overall it is a good read, just nothing special if you do this sort of thing for a living.
Certainly in this time of COVID-19, after reading this book you'll start noticing a lot of public figures fall into basic data interpretation mistakes, make predictions that turn out to be totally wrong, and then continue as normal anyway!
One criticism I have is that I would've liked it to better slightly less "popular" science; include a bit more hard data, remove a little of the padding. However even with this criticism, there was much for me to learn. And it did include substantial references to evidence.
Prediction is an extremely important component to testing whether your hypotheses are correct. Therefore, knowing about prediction is a key issue in science. Anyone who cares a lot about science should read a book like this or something similar. For any such person, I would gladly recommend this book.