Despite its importance in modern life, forecasting remains (ironically) unpredictable. Who is a good forecaster? How do you make people better forecasters? Are there processes or technologies that can improve the ability of governments, companies, and other institutions to perceive and act on trends and threats? Nobody really knows.
The goal of the Good Judgment Project is to answer these questions. We will systematically compare the effectiveness of different training methods (general education, probabilistic-reasoning training, divergent-thinking training) and forecasting tools (low- and high-information opinion-polls, prediction market, and process-focused tools) in accurately forecasting future events. We also will investigate how different combinations of training and forecasting work together. Finally, we will explore how to more effectively communicate forecasts in ways that avoid overwhelming audiences with technical detail or oversimplifying difficult decisions.
Over the course of each year, forecasters will have an opportunity to respond to 100 questions, each requiring a separate prediction, such as “Who will win the French Presidential election in 2012?” or “Will Southern Sudan become an independent country in 2011?” Researchers from the Good Judgment Project will look for the best ways to combine these individual forecasts to yield the most accurate “collective wisdom” results. Participants also will receive feedback on their individual results.
All training and forecasting will be done online. Forecasters’ identities will not be made public; however, successful forecasters will have the option to publicize their own track records.