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Philip E. Tetlock is Leonore Annenberg University Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also written several non-fiction books on politics, including Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics (with Aaron Belkin; 1996) and "Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?".

His Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? (2005) describes a twenty-year study in which 284 experts in many fields, including government officials, professors, journalists, and other, and with many opinions, from Marxists to free-marketeers, were asked to make 28,000 predictions[1][2] about the future, finding that they were only slightly more accurate than chance, and worse than basic computer algorithms. As a result of this work, he received the 2008 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Dr. Tetlock was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for best book published on government, politics, or international affairs and Robert E. Lane Award for best book in political psychology, both from American Political Science Association in 2005. Forecasters with the biggest news media profiles were especially bad. The study also compared the records of "foxes" and "hedgehogs" (two personality types identified in The Hedgehog and the Fox).[3]

Value of statistics Edit

Tetlock's conclusion is that even crude extrapolations are more reliable than human predictions in every domain his study observed, confirming the claims of other psychological research.[4]


In 2000 Tetlock was awarded the NAS Award for Behavior Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War from the National Academy of Sciences.[5] He was the winner of the 1987 AAAS Prize for Behavioral Science Research.[6]

References Edit

  1. includeonly>Bialik, Carl. "Evaluating Political Pundits", The Wall Street Journal, 6 January 2006.
  3. includeonly>Philip E. Tetlock. "How Accurate Are Your Pet Pundits?", Project Syndicate.
  4. Tetlock, P.E. (2005) Expert Political Opinion, How Good is it? How Can we Know? Princeton, Princeton University Press, p 54
  5. NAS Award for Behavior Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War. National Academy of Sciences. URL accessed on 16 February 2011.
  6. History & Archives: AAAS Prize for Behavioral Science Research

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