PSCI 2024 Research Methods Final Study Guide

Terms in this set (69)

- Judges that ignore evidence that contradicts their positions and fail to acknowledge when their positions don't match the evidence (e.g. hawks equivocate over the absence of WMDs in Iraq). They do not concede when their predictions do not come true. They use tricky, self-serving counterfactuals to avoid taking responsibility for their own discredited predictions
- For Tetlock, the problem with counterfactuals is that there is no way to falsify them. If one cannot disprove a political expert's counterfactuals, then the expert may use them to create a "self-perpetuating worldview" that can't be discredited with facts. This doesn't mean Tetlock opposes the use of all counterfactuals. Tetlock thinks experts abuse counterfactuals by deploying them selectively and inconsistently to defend their views. Tetlock suggests that one should use counterfactuals to judge an outcome against the most probable alternative outcomes; experts sometimes use tricky counterfactuals to judge their favored outcomes against less probable possible outcomes
- This quote about hand waving over the Soviet Union's collapse illustrates the problems Tetlock has with tricky counterfactuals:
-"Talk about the inevitability of collapse, about how internal weakness and external pressure forced the hands of the Soviet leadership, tells us less about the probability distribution of possible worlds than it does about the self-deceptive tricks that hindsight plays on the mind. We too easily convince ourselves that we knew all along what was going to happen when, in fact, we were clueless"