Good judgment is a curious thing. Virtually all of us think we possess it but few of us can come up with a definition much more compelling than the old definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." The articles in this section explore diverse ways of thinking about and measuring "good judgment." Some conceptions focus on the judgment process (thinking in the "right way"). Other conceptions focus on judgmental accuracy (just get the right answer).
It is revealing how often smart executives and politicians embrace strikingly different intuitive theories about how tightly coupled "process" and "outcome" are. It is also revealing how rarely these executives and politicians are willing to put their intuitions to the test in level playing field forecasting tournaments, which allow us to determine which styles of reasoning perform better in which categories of problems.
To participate in an ongoing forecasting tournament focused on political outcomes around the world, visit the website:
Tetlock, P.E., Horowitz, M., & Herrmann, R. (2012). Should systems thinkers accept the limits on political forecasting—or push the limits? Critical Review.
Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security (2011). Intelligence analysis for tomorrow: Advances from the behavioral and social sciences. The National Academies Press. Washington D.C.
Goldgeier, J., & Tetlock, P.E. (2007). Psychological approaches complement – rather than contradict – international relations theories. In C. Reus-Smit & D. Snidal (Eds.) The Oxford handbook of international relations. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tetlock, P.E. (2007). Psychology and politics: The challenges of integrating levels of analysis in social science. In E.T. Higgins & A. Kruglanski (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles. New York: Guilford.
Parker, G., & Tetlock, P.E. (2006). Counterfactual history: Its advocates, its critics and its uses. In P.E. Tetlock, R.N. Lebow & G. Parker (Eds) (2006). Unmaking the West: What-if scenarios that rewrite world history. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Tetlock, P.E., & Parker, G. (2006). Counterfactual thought experiments: Why we can’t live with them and how we must learn to live with them. In P.E. Tetlock, R.N. Lebow & G. Parker (Eds.) (2006). Unmaking the West: What-if scenarios that rewrite world history. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Tetlock, P.E., & Henik, E. (2004). Theory-driven versus imagination-driven reasoning about what could have been: Are we fated to be prisoners of our preconceptions? In D. Mandel, D. Hilton, & P. Catellani (Eds), The psychology of counterfactual thinking. London: Routledge.
Tetlock, P.E. (2003). Correspondence and coherence indicators of good judgment. In D. Hardman & L. Macchi (Eds.). Thinking: Psychological perspectives on reasoning, judgment and decision making. Cambridge University Press.
Tetlock, P.E. (2002). Cognitive biases in path-dependent systems: Theory driven reasoning about plausible pasts and probable futures in world politics. In T. Gilovich, D.W. Griffin, & D. Kahneman. (Eds.). Inferences, heuristics and biases: New directions in judgment under uncertainty. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Tetlock, P.E. (2002). Exploring empirical implications of deviant functionalist metaphors: People as intuitive politicians, prosecutors, and theologians. In T. Gilovich, D.W. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (2000). Inferences, heuristics and biases: New directions in judgment under uncertainty. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Suedfeld, P., & Tetlock, P.E. (2001). Individual differences in information processing. In A. Tesser & N. Schwartz (Eds.), Blackwell international handbook of social psychology: Intra-individual processes, (Vol. 1). London: Blackwell Publishers.
Tetlock, P.E. (2001). The virtues of cognitive humility: For us as well as them. In R. Gowda & J. Fox (Eds.), Judgments, decisions, and public policy: Behavioral decision theoretic perspectives and applications. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Tetlock, P.E., & Belkin, A. (1996). Counterfactual thought experiments in world politics: Logical, methodological, and psychological perspectives. In P.E. Tetlock & A. Belkin (Eds), Thought experiments in world politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Tetlock, P.E., Peterson, R., & Berry, J. (1993). Flattering and unflattering personality portraits of integratively simple and complex managers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 500-511.
Sniderman, P., Tetlock, P.E., Carmines, E.G., & Peterson, R. (1993). The politics of the American dilemma: Issue pluralism. In P. Sniderman, P.E. Tetlock, & E.G. Carmines (Eds.), Prejudice, politics and the American dilemma. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Tetlock, P.E. (1991). Learning in U.S. and Soviet foreign policy: In search of an elusive concept. Introductory chapter in G. Breslauer & P.E. Tetlock (Eds.), Learning in U.S. and Soviet foreign policy. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Tetlock, P.E. (1989). Methodological themes and variations. In P.E. Tetlock, R. Jervis, C. Tilly, P. Stern, & J. Husbands (Eds.), Behavior, society, and nuclear war. (Vol. 1). New York: Oxford University Press.
Tetlock, P.E. (1989). Gorbachev: His thinking is complex. Washington Post, Outlook Section, December 17, 1989, B5.
Tetlock, P.E. (1986). A value pluralism model of ideological reasoning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 50, 819827. Reprinted in E. Aronson & A. Pratkanis (Eds.), (1991), International library of critical readings in psychology. London: Elgar Publishing Co.
Tetlock, P.E., & McGuire, C. (1986). Cognitive perspectives on foreign policy. In S. Long (Ed.), Political behavior annual. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Reprinted in R. White (Ed.), Psychology and the prevention of nuclear war. New York: New York University Press (1986) and in N. Kressel (Ed.), Political psychology: Classic and contemporary readings. New York: Paragon House (1993) and in G.J. Ikenberry (Ed.), American foreign policy: Theoretical essays, 5/e. St. Cloud, FL: Longman Publishers (2005).
Tetlock, P.E. (1985). Integrative complexity of American and Soviet foreign policy rhetoric: A time-series analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes, 49, 1565-1585.
Tetlock, P.E. (1983). Psychological research on foreign policy: A methodological overview. In L. Wheeler (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology.
Tetlock, P. E., Metz, S. E., Scott, S., Suedfeld, P. (2013). Integrative complexity coding raises integratively complex issues. Political Psychology.
Accountability links individuals to social systems: it tells us who must answer to whom, for what, and under what ground rules. My laboratory research on accountability has focused on the power of different types of accountability to shape how people think, for better or for worse. Some forms of accountability can make us more thoughtful and constructively self-critical (reducing the likelihood of biases or errors), whereas other forms of accountability can make us more rigid and defensive (mobilizing mental effort to defend our previous positions and to criticize our critics).
Tetlock, P. E. Veieder, F., Patl, S., & Grant, A. (2013). Accountability and ideology: When left looks right and right looks left. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
Patil, S. Vieider, F., & Tetlock (2012). Process and outcome accountability. Oxford Handbook of Public Accountability. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tetlock, P. E. (2011) Vying for rhetorical high ground in accountability debates: It is easy to look down on those who look soft on… Administration and Society, 43(6), 693-703.
Tetlock, P.E., Self, W.T., & Singh, R. (2010). The punitiveness paradox: When is external pressure exculpatory – And when a signal just to spread blame? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 388-395.
Tetlock, P.E., Visser, P., Singh, R., Polifroni, M., Elson, B., Mazzocco, P., & Rescober, P. (2007). People as intuitive prosecutors: The impact of social control motives on attributions of responsibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 195-209.
Moore, D., Tetlock, P.E., Tanlu, L., & Bazerman, M. (2006). Conflicts of interest and the case of auditor independence: Moral seduction and strategic issue cycling. Academy of Management Review, 31, 10-29.
Tetlock, P.E. (2000). Cognitive biases and organizational correctives: Do both disease and cure depend on the ideological beholder? Administrative Science Quarterly, 45, 293-326. Reprinted in L. Thompson (Ed.), The social psychology of organizational behavior. (pp. 384-406). New York: Taylor and Francis Books. Reprinted in M. Bazerman (Ed.), The international library of critical writings in business and management. Cheltenham: Elgar.
Green, M., Visser, P., & Tetlock, P.E. (2000). Coping with accountability cross-pressures: Low-effort evasive tactics and high-effort quests for complex compromises. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1380-1392.
Markman, K.D., & Tetlock, P.E. (2000). Accountability and close-call counterfactuals: The loser who almost won and the winner who almost lost. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1213-1224.
Tetlock, P.E. (1999). Accountability theory: Mixing properties of human agents with properties of social systems. In J. Levine, L. Thompson, & D. Messick (Eds.), Shared cognition in organizations: The management of knowledge. Erlbaum: Hillsdale, N.J.
Tetlock, P.E., & Lerner, J. (1999). The social contingency model: Identifying empirical and normative boundary conditions on the error-and-bias portrait of human nature. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual process models in social psychology. New York: Guilford Press.
Lerner, J., Goldberg, J., & Tetlock, P.E. (1998). Sober second thought: The effects of accountability, anger, and authoritarianism on attributions of responsibility. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 563-574.
Tetlock, P.E. (1998). Losing our religion: On the collapse of precise normative standards in complex accountability systems. In R. Kramer & M. Neale (Eds.), Influence processes in organizations: Emerging themes in theory and research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Tetlock, P.E. (1992). The impact of accountability on judgment and choice: Toward a social contingency model. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (vol. 25) (pp. 331376). New York: Academic Press.
Tetlock, P.E. (1991). An alternative metaphor in the study of judgement and choice: People as politicians. Theory and Psychology, 1, 451-477. Reprinted in R. Hogarth & W. Goldstein (Eds.), Judgment and decision-making: An interdisciplinary reader. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Tetlock, P.E. (1985). Accountability: The neglected social context of judgment and choice. In B. Staw & L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 7, pp. 297-332). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Tetlock, P.E., Skitka, L., & Boettger, R. (1989). Social and cognitive strategies of coping with accountability: Conformity, complexity, and bolstering. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Dynamics, 57, 632-641.
Tetlock, P.E. (1981). Pre- to post-election shifts in presidential rhetoric: Impression management or cognitive adjustment? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 41, 207-212.
Most people recoil from the specter of relativism: the notion that our deepest moral-political values are arbitrary inventions of mere mortals desperately trying to infuse moral meaning into an otherwise meaningless universe. We prefer to believe that we have sacred values that provide firm foundations for the moral-political opinions that we hold.
The articles in this section explore how people react to threats to sacred values -- and how they take pains to structure situations so as to avoid open or transparent trade-offs involving sacred values.
McGraw, P., Schwartz, J. & Tetlock, P.E. (2012) From the Commercial to the Communal: Reframing Taboo Trade-Offs in Religious and Pharmaceutical Marketing. Journal of Consumer Research.
Schoemaker, P, & Tetlock, P.E. (2011). Taboo scenarios: How to think about the unthinkable. California Management Review, 54(2), 5-24.
Kray, L.J., George, L.G., Liljenquist, K.A., Galinsky, A.D., Tetlock, P.E., & Roese, N.J. (2010). From what might have been to what must have been: Counterfactual thinking creates meaning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 106-118.
Tetlock, P.E., McGraw, A.P., & Kristel, O. (2004). Proscribed forms of social cognition: Taboo trade-offs, blocked exchanges, forbidden base rates, and heretical counterfactuals. In N. Haslam (Ed.), Relational models theory: A contemporary overview. Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum.
Tetlock, P.E., Kristel, O., Elson, B., Green, M., & Lerner, J. (2000). The psychology of the unthinkable: Taboo trade-offs, forbidden base rates, and heretical counterfactuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 853-870.
Fiske, A., & Tetlock, P.E. (1999). Taboo trade-offs: Constitutive prerequisites for social life. In S.A. Renshon & J. Duckitt (Eds.), Political psychology: Cultural and cross-cultural perspectives. London: MacMillan.
Tetlock, P.E. (2000). Coping with trade-offs: Psychological constraints and political implications. In S. Lupia, M. McCubbins, & S. Popkin (Eds.), Political reasoning and choice. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Fiske, A., & Tetlock, P.E. (1997). Taboo trade-offs: Reactions to transactions that transgress spheres of justice. Political Psychology, 18, 255-297. Reprinted in M. Bazerman (Ed.), Negotiation, decision making and conflict management. Blackwell.
Tetlock, P.E., Peterson, R., & Lerner, J. (1996). Revising the value pluralism model: Incorporating social content and context postulates. In C. Seligman, J. Olson, & M. Zanna (Eds.), Ontario symposium on social and personality psychology: Values. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Most political psychologists tacitly assume that, relative to political science, psychology is a more basic scientific discipline. After all, political actors -- be they voters or national leaders -- are human beings whose behavior should be subject to fundamental psychological laws that cut across cultures and historical periods.
Some of the articles in this section take this reductionist view of political psychology seriously. But other articles in this section are more subversive and raise the possibility that psychological research is often driven by ideological agenda (of which the psychologist may be only partly conscious).
Oswald, F. Mitchell, G., Blanton, H., Jaccard, J. & Tetlock, P. (2013). Predicting ethnic and racial discrimination: A meta-analysis of IAT research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Tetlock, P.E., Mitchell, P. G. & Anastasopoulos, J. (2013). Detecting and punishing unconscious bias. The Journal of Legal Studies.
Tetlock, P.E. (2012). Rational and irrational prejudices: How problematic is the ideological lopsidedness of social-personality psychology? Perspectives in Psychological Science, 7, 519-521.
Tetlock, P.E., & Mitchell, G. (2009). Implicit bias and accountability systems: What must organizations do to prevent discrimination? In B.M. Staw & A. Brief (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (vol. 29). New York: Elsevier. Pp. 3-38.
Tetlock, P.E., & Mitchell, G. (2009). A renewed plea for adversarial collaboration. In B.M. Staw & A. Brief (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (vol. 29). New York: Elsevier. Pp. 71-72.
Tetlock, P.E., & Mitchell, G. (2009). Adversarial collaboration aborted, but our offer still stands. In B.M. Staw & A. Brief (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (vol. 29). New York: Elsevier. Pp. 77-79.
Blanton, H., Jaccard, J., Klick, J., Mellers, B.A., Mitchell, G., & Tetlock, P.E. (2009). Strong claims and weak evidence: Reassessing the predictive validity of the race IAT. Journal of Applied Psychology, 29, 567-582.
Blanton, H., Jaccard, J., Klick, J., Mellers, B.A., Mitchell, G., & Tetlock, P.E. (2009). Transparency should trump trust: Rejoinder to McConnell and Leibold (2009) and Ziegert and Hanges (2009). Journal of Applied Psychology, 29, 598-603.
Tetlock, P.E. Perchance to scream. Review of Drew Westen’s “The political brain.” Times Literary Supplement, December 14, 2007, p. 23 (No. 5463).
Tetlock, P.E. (1994). How politicized is political psychology and is there anything we should do about it? Political Psychology, 15, 567-577.
Tetlock, P.E., Armor, D., & Peterson, R. (1994). The slavery debate in antebellum America: Cognitive style, value conflict, and the limits of compromise. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 115-126.
Suedfeld, P., & Tetlock, P.E. (1991). Psychological advice about political decision making: Heuristics, biases, and cognitive defects. In P. Suedfeld & P.E. Tetlock, Psychology and social policy. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.
Tetlock, P.E. (1984). Cognitive style and political belief systems in the British House of Commons. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 46, 365-375. Reprinted in 2003 by J. Jost & J. Sidanius (Eds), Political psychology: Key readings. New York: Taylor and Francis.)
Tetlock, P.E., Hannum, K., & Micheletti, P. (1984). Stability and change in senatorial debate: Testing the cognitive versus rhetorical style hypotheses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 46, 979-990.
One fundamental question in normative political theory is: who should get what from whom, when, how, and why? In real-world debates over distributive justice, however, it is virtually impossible to disentangle the factual assumptions that people are making about human beings from the value judgments people are making about end-state goals, such as equality and efficiency. Hypothetical society studies allow us to disentangle these competing influences on public policy preferences.
Tetlock, P.E., & Mitchell, G. (2010). Situated social identities constrain morally-defensible choices: Commentary on Bennis, Medin, & Bartels (2010). Perspectives in Psychological Science. 5, 206-208.
Mitchell, G., & Tetlock, P.E. (2009). Disentangling reasons and rationalizations: Exploring perceived fairness in hypothetical societies. In J. Jost, A.C. Kay & H. Thorisdottir (Eds.), Social and psychological bases of ideology and system justification. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 126-157.
Tetlock, P.E. (1994). The market experience: The worst system except for all the others? Review of R. Lane, The market experience. Contemporary Psychology, 39, 589-591.
Mitchell, P. G., Tetlock, P.E., Mellers, B. A., & Ordonez, L. (1993). Judgments of social justice: Compromises between equality and efficiency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 629-639.
Skitka, L., & Tetlock, P.E. (1993). Providing public assistance: Cognitive and motivational processes underlying liberal and conservative policy preferences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1205-1224.
Skitka, L., & Tetlock, P.E. (1993). Of ants and grasshoppers: The political psychology of allocating public assistance. In B. Mellers & J. Baron (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tetlock, P.E., & Mitchell, P.G. (1993). Liberal and conservative approaches to justice: Conflicting psychological portraits. In B. Mellers & J. Baron (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Skitka, L., & Tetlock, P.E. (1992). Allocating scarce resources: A contingency model of distributive justice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 28, 491-522. Sniderman, P., Piazza, T., Tetlock, P.E., & Kendrick, A. (1991). Racism and the American ethos. American Journal of Political Science, 35, 423-447.
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