2008 – Philip Tetlock
“Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?”
Political pundits should be held accountable for the predictions they make, says the winner of the 2008 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.
Philip Tetlock, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of business administration and political science, earned the prize for ideas he set forth in his 2005 book, “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?”
A great many political forecasts turn out to be inaccurate, which is troubling since government officials routinely rely on them to make decisions, Tetlock says.
In a 20-year study of 27,000 predictions by 284 political experts, Tetlock found those who take a big-picture approach are more often correct than those who operate from a single perspective. However, all political “experts” who do forecasts need to receive more training, do more research and be held publicly accountable for their advice, he says.
Award judges called the book “a landmark study that changes our understanding of the way experts perform when they make judgments about world politics.”
The work was selected from among 50 entries from seven countries.
About Philip Tetlock
Philip Tetlock has contributed to the field of political psychology for more than 30 years through teaching, research, writing and public service.
Since 2001, he has been a professor of business administration and political science at the University of California, Berkeley.
He directed UC Berkeley’s Institute of Personality and Social Research from 1988 to 1995 and was Harold E. Burtt professor of psychology and political science at The Ohio State University from 1996 to 2001.
Tetlock’s Grawemeyer Award-winning book “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?” also won the American Political Science Association’s Woodrow Wilson Award in 2005, the year it was published by Princeton University Press. It was his second Wilson award; he received another for “Reasoning and Choice: Explorations in Political Psychology,” a book he co-wrote in 1992.
His articles have appeared in a variety of prestigious academic journals, including Psychological Review, American Political Science Review and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Among Tetlock’s many professional honors are a 1999 National Academy of Sciences award for behavioral research related to the prevention of nuclear war, the 1988 Behavioral Research Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the 1986 Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Science, and two scientific awards from the International Society of Political Psychology, one in 1987 and another in 1997.
Tetlock has analyzed political forecasting and risk assessment techniques for several U.S. government agencies and private sector firms. He also has served on several advisory committees for the National Research Council and the Social Science Research Council.
He holds a doctorate in psychology from Yale University and a master’s degree in psychology from University of British Columbia.