Expert Political Judgment

How Good is it? How can We Know?
Narrated by: Anthony Haden Salerno
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
4 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The intelligence failures surrounding the invasion of Iraq dramatically illustrate the necessity of developing standards for evaluating expert opinion. This audiobook fills that need. Here, Philip E. Tetlock explores what constitutes good judgment in predicting future events, and looks at why experts are often wrong in their forecasts.

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 judgment 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 audiobook 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.

©2005 Princeton University Press (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Five-star book, one-star reading

Groundbreaking and important book. But, while Tetlock argues convincingly that predicting the future is harder than we might think, predicting that the narrator will mispronounce the word “causal” at every opportunity remains disappointingly easy.

1 person found this helpful

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Highly engaging. Listen at 2x speed

This was a fascinating book with a great respect for impartiality. He plays with conceptions within epistemology and provides satisfying sunlight on his approach, going deeply into the math. I found it best to listen to the conclusions and then here about his process, though he presents his discussion in the other order.

I found the readers voice unbearable at 1x speed. I strongly encourage at least 1.5x, if not 2x. For some reason, this really seemed to help.

3 people found this helpful

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The narrator is as bad as the text is good

This book is amazing and should be read by every thoughtful person.

The narrator, on the other hand, is terrible. I listened as I read along within the book and was regularly distracted by his misreading words and his total inability to read logical notation. For example, he reads:

"~p" as "equivalent to p" and "(p is true | q is false)" as "p is true divided by q is false."

Such mistakes are simply inexcusable, especially for a high-level book like this.

That said, the text itself is absolutely amazing, but I can't imagine anybody really internalizing the message through audiobook alone.

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Not as expected

long-winded and very unstructured. Sounds if it was written for Academics not the public. Don't download.

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  • Giorgos
  • 07-06-17

Interesting book. Horrific narration.

Lots of good arguments on this book but not suitable for audiobook. There are a lot of equations and graphs which are imposdible to follow in the audio format. Also after 20 or so audiobooks the narrator is the single worst one I have heard. Made it really difficult to follow the book. I would recommend this book but I would advice to go for the hard copy if you have the option