Assessing Game Theory, Role Playing, and Unaided Judgment

8 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2005 Last revised: 1 Jan 2012

See all articles by J. Scott Armstrong

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department


Green's study [Int. J. Forecasting (forthcoming)] on the accuracy of forecasting methods for conflicts does well against traditional scientific criteria. Moreover, it is useful, as it examines actual problems by comparing forecasting methods as they would be used in practice. Some biases exist in the design of the study and they favor game theory. As a result, the accuracy gain of game theory over unaided judgment may be illusory, and the advantage of role-playing over game theory is likely to be greater than the 44% error reduction found by Green. The improved accuracy of role playing over game theory was consistent across situations. For those cases that simulated interactions among people with conflicting roles, game theory was no better than chance (28% correct), whereas role-playing was correct in 61% of the predictions.

Keywords: Forecasting, role-playing, simulated interactions

Suggested Citation

Armstrong, J. Scott, Assessing Game Theory, Role Playing, and Unaided Judgment. International Journal of Forecasting, Vol. 18 pp. 345-352, 2002, Available at SSRN:

J. Scott Armstrong (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

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