Tuesday, January 5, 2016

[Review] Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of PredictionSuperforecasting

 New York Times Bestseller

An Economist Best Book of 2015

"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.


Ever since I have started learning about stocks and the Wall Street market itself, I was really interested in how people forecast the future and predict on what is going to happen. Superforecasting really showed on what it is like to have that ability and learn the skill in the modern world. 

It was a good book to begin with but over time, it felt a little predictable. And if you're reading a book about forecasting and it becomes predictable, it's either you already a pro at this subject or it's getting boring. I still have gotten a lot of information but the overall morale of the book was clear: Use number to make your predictions in a well established time frame and always question your predictions until the time runs out. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BloggingforBooks book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 


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