Experts are wrong more often

“Philip Tetlock, a political scientist, found similar results when he invited a variety of academics and pundits into his office and asked them to make predictions about the future in their areas of expertise. Would the Soviet Union fall in the next ten years? In what year would the U.S. economy start growing again? For ten years, Tetlock kept asking these questions. He asked them not only of experts, but also of folks he’d brought in off the street—plumbers and schoolteachers with no special expertise in politics or history. When he finally compiled the results, even he was surprised. It wasn’t just that the normal folks’ predictions beat the experts’. The experts’ predictions weren’t even close.

Why? Experts have a lot invested in the theories they’ve developed to explain the world. And after a few years of working on them, they tend to see them everywhere. For example, bullish stock analysts banking on rosy financial scenarios were unable to identify the housing bubble that nearly bankrupted the economy—even though the trends that drove it were pretty clear to anyone looking. It’s not just that experts are vulnerable to confirmation bias—it’s that they’re especially vulnerable to it.”

Excerpt From: Eli, Pariser. “The Filter Bubble.”

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