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Tetlock wins 'Ideas for Improving World Order' award

– Philip Tetlock, a professor of organizational behavior at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, has earned the 2008 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for ideas he set forth in a 2005 book that concluded political experts should be held accountable for their predictions.

Philip Tetlock
Philip Tetlock
A great many political forecasts turn out to be inaccurate, which is troubling because government officials routinely rely on them to make decisions, Tetlock writes in "Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?"

In a 20-year study of 27,000 predictions by 284 political experts, Tetlock found that authorities who take a big-picture approach are more often correct than those who operate from a single perspective. However, he says that all political "experts" who do forecasts need to receive more training, conduct more research and be held publicly accountable for their advice.

Award judges called the book "a landmark study that changes our understanding of the way experts perform when they make judgments about world politics."

Tetlock was selected from among 50 entries from seven countries.

His book also won the Woodrow Wilson Award for best book published on government, politics, or international affairs and the Robert E. Lane Award for best book in political psychology, both from American Political Science Association in 2005.

The Grawemeyer Foundation at the University of Louisville annually awards $1 million - $200,000 each for works in music composition, world order, psychology, education and religion. Winners of the other 2008 Grawemeyer awards also are being announced this week.

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