Future Babble: Why Pundits Are Hedgehogs and Foxes Know Best

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Penguin Publishing Group, 2012 - Psychology - 320 pages
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New York Times bestselling author of Superforecasting and Future Babble

"Genuinely arresting . . . required reading for journalists, politicians, academics, and anyone who listens to them."--Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works

 

We are awash in predictions. In newspapers, blogs, and books; on radio and television. Every day experts tell us how the economy will perform next year, if housing sales will grow or shrink, and who will win the next election. Predictions are offered about the climate, food, technology, and the world our grandchildren will inhabit. And we can't get enough of it.

Drawing on research in cognitive psychology, political science, and behavioral economics, award-winning journalist Dan Gardner explores our obsession with the future. He shows how famous pundits, "hedgehogs" who stick to one big idea no matter how circumstances change, become expert at explaining away predictions that are wrong while "foxes," who are more equivocal in their judgments, are simply more accurate.

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About the author (2012)

DAN GARDNER is the New York Times bestselling author of books about psychology and decision-making. His books have been published in 21 countries and 17 languages.

In The Science of Fear, Gardner reveals why we so often worry about what we shouldn't and don't worry about what we should. The Guardian called it "an invaluable resource for anyone who aspires to think clearly."

In Future Babble, Gardner looks at the dismal record of expert forecasts and why we keep listening to overconfident pundits. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker said it "should be required reading for journalists, politicians, academics, and anyone who listens to them."

In Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, Gardner and co-author Philip Tetlock distill important lessons about forecasting, teamwork, and good judgment. Superforecasting was chosen as one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist, Bloomberg, and Amazon.

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