Value of Expertise for Forecasting Decisions in Conflicts

Monash University Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Paper No. 27/04

9 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2005

See all articles by Kesten C. Green

Kesten C. Green

University of South Australia - UniSA Business School; Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Date Written: December 7, 2004

Abstract

In important conflicts, people typically rely on experts' judgments to predict the decisions that adversaries will make. We compared the accuracy of 106 expert and 169 novice forecasts for eight real conflicts. The forecasts of experts using unaided judgment were little better than those of novices, and neither were much better than simply guessing. The forecasts of experts with more experience were no more accurate than those with less. Speculating that consideration of the relative frequency of decisions might improve accuracy, we obtained 89 forecasts from novices instructed to assume there were 100 similar situations and to ascribe frequencies to decisions. Their forecasts were no more accurate than 96 forecasts from novices asked to pick the most likely decision. We conclude that expert judgment should not be used for predicting decisions that people will make in conflicts. Their use might lead decision makers to overlook other, more useful, approaches.

Keywords: bad faith, framing, hindsight bias, methods, politics

Suggested Citation

Green, Kesten C. and Armstrong, J. Scott, Value of Expertise for Forecasting Decisions in Conflicts (December 7, 2004). Monash University Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Paper No. 27/04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=675381 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.675381

Kesten C. Green (Contact Author)

University of South Australia - UniSA Business School ( email )

GPO Box 2471
Adelaide, SA 5001
Australia
+61 8 83012 9097 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://people.unisa.edu.au/Kesten.Green

Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science ( email )

Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.marketingscience.info/people/KestenGreen.html

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-5087 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marketing.wharton.upenn.edu/people/faculty/armstrong.cfm

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