Nobody Knows Anything

Louis Menand reviews Philip Tetlock’s new book, “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?” in the current issue of the New Yorker.

Kevin Drum summarizes some key points: Tetlock, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley, found that experts are no better than ordinary people at predicting political events. However, some people are better predictors than others. The best predictors tend to be "foxes"--people with a flexible approach to problem solving who can integrate multiple sources of information.

Poor political forecasters tend to be "hedgehogs" who see the world in terms of one big thing (an ideology, a grand plan, etc.). The worst predictors are also the most confident about their predictions.

[Political Animal]

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