Nov 16, 2012

Come in Spinner: bad news for pundits who predict false prophecies

How do we judge the political pundits and economic forecasters that roll up to give us their predictions, only to be proven completely and utterly wrong? A Nobel prize winning scientist is calling them to account.

Noel Turnbull

Adjunct professor of media and communications at RMIT University.

The hottest thing in the social sciences — the replicability debate — is bad news for economic forecasters and worse news for the pundits who peddle their analyses through the media.

The debate got started when economics Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman, posted a note on September 26 to a wide range of his colleagues on “questions about priming effects” — the study of how subtle cues can unconsciously influence thoughts and behaviour. Kahneman (with Amos Tversky) is one of the pioneers of behavioural economics and demonstrated that many of the assumptions which underlay economic models of behaviour and efficiency were just plain wrong.

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2 thoughts on “Come in Spinner: bad news for pundits who predict false prophecies

  1. John Bennetts

    Noel Turnbull has again provided us with a lucid debunking on a topic of his choice, complete with suggestions for further reading. Thanks. I have some reading to do.

  2. Dogs breakfast

    Yes indeed, I must thank Noel for the further reading suggestions, although who knows where I would find time to do that.

    As usual, clear, unencumbered-by-ideology, enlightening topical discussion from the good professor.

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