05 March 2009

Pundits: the blind leading the slightly less blind

How bad are journalistic pundits at predicting the future course of events? Worse than the average person apparently.
He took 284 pundits and asked them questions about the future. Their performance was worse than chance. With three possible answers, they were right less than 33 per cent of the time. A monkey chucking darts would have done better. This is consoling. More consoling still is Tetlock's further finding that the more certain a pundit was, the more likely he was to be wrong.

This would, of course, explain a lot.

I fearlessly predict that this will have no effect whatsoever on pundit self-confidence.

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