Are You a Superforecaster?


Wharton marketing professors Barbara Mellers and Michael Platt, who are also Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professors at the University of Pennsylvania, examine the intersection of marketing, psychology and neuroscience to understand the traits that “superforecasters” share and that can lead to better decision making. They recently talked about their research and its implications on the [email protected] show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

[email protected]: You’re doing a lot of research right now into the mindset of people and what goes into the decision-making process.

Michael Platt: Right. In fact, we are going beyond the mindset. We are going into the mind and into the brain. The whole purpose of our research program is to try to understand the process by which people make decisions. If we can understand how that process unfolds, all the myriad factors that go into it, we might be able to shape that decision process and help people make better decisions.

[email protected]: But there’s so much forecasting done on a variety of different things. The forecasting that surrounded the presidential election a few months ago went one way, but the result went a different way.

Barbara Mellers: It sure did. I think people look at the forecasts and say, “How did they get it so wrong?” There’s only two ways to get a forecast wrong.

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