We will explore whether forecasting tournaments can promote open-mindedness, intellectual humility and accurate foresight, and depolarize heated debates on high-stakes issues. We also aim to understand the mechanisms by which key components of forecasting tournaments promote such epistemic virtues (e.g., accountability, performance feedback, interacting with opponents’ perspectives) and the traits of forecasters that predict performance and willingness to update estimates. Thus, we will learn about the processes of promoting epistemic virtues and potential moderators of those processes. Our forecasting initiative will focus on debates over human progress and draw on subject matter experts, individuals skilled at translating hunches into probabilities (“superforecasters”), and the attentive public.
By leveraging the forecasts of subject matter experts and superforecasters, we will learn which domains of human progress are considered critical and obtain quality predictions about human flourishing within these critical domains. Such insights will be valuable to policymakers, philanthropists, and thought leaders who seek to impact human thriving.
Last, we will produce a podcast with top performers from the initiative to discuss the process of making forecasts, if they changed their minds over time, the intellectual benefits of humility and open-mindedness, the advantages of engaging with intellectual adversaries, and the critical issues of human progress. By increasing the public visibility of this project, we will promote interest in programs and processes that seek to engage intellectual adversaries and promote intellectual humility. People are motivated to copy behavioral patterns of highly successful others, and so we hope by elevating highly successful, open-minded, and intellectually humble individuals, everyday people will take concrete steps in their lives to strive for more intellectual humility.