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The Seer-Sucker Theory: The Value of Experts in Forecasting

By J. Scott Armstrong

Abstract

People are willing to pay heavily for expert advice. Economists are consulted to tell us how the economy will change, stock analysts are paid large salaries to forecast the earnings of various companies, and political experts command large fees to tell our leaders what the future holds. The available evidence, however, implies that this money is poorly spent. But because few people pay attention to this evidence, I have come up with what I call the "seersucker theory": "No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence of seers.

Topics: Behavioral Analysis
Year: 1980
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:5200

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