Subjective Confidence in Forecasts.
DECISION RESEARCH EUGENE OR
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To be useful, a forecast must not only predict the future, but also give some indication of how much confidence to place in that prediction. The appropriateness of peoples confidence in their general knowledge has been studied extensively. After briefly reviewing that literature, the present article attempts to make it more directly relevant to forecasters by repeating previous studies in the context of confidence in forecasts. The most robust of previous results was strongly replicated Participants were greatly overconfident in their predictions when dealing with a fairly hard-to-predict set of events. A procedure that had previously proved effective in reducing overconfidence, forcing respondents to provide reasons why their answers might be wrong, was of minor value here. A new result was the discovery of a simple indicator of the quality of peoples confidence assessments, whether they ever expressed certitude. Possible implications of these results for producing and using forecasts are discussed. Author