How To Predict The Future And Avoid Disaster When disaster strikes, we want to know, who screwed up? This week we explore the psychology of warnings: Why some warnings get heard, and why some of us are better at seeing what lies ahead.
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How To See The Future (No Crystal Ball Needed)

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How To See The Future (No Crystal Ball Needed)

How To See The Future (No Crystal Ball Needed)

How To See The Future (No Crystal Ball Needed)

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/723937257/724013159" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Why are some warnings heard, while others are ignored? Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Angela Hsieh/NPR

Why are some warnings heard, while others are ignored?

Angela Hsieh/NPR

After a disaster happens, we want to know, could something have been done to avoid it? Did anyone see this coming?

Many times, the answer is yes. There was a person — or many people — who spotted a looming crisis and tried to warn those in power. So why didn't the warnings lead to action?

This week on Hidden Brain, we look into the psychology of warnings. Plus, we'll learn why ordinary people can sometimes do a better job of predicting the future than the so-called experts. They're the subject of the book Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, co-authored by psychologist Phil Tetlock and journalist Dan Gardner.

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Hidden Brain is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Jennifer Schmidt, Rhaina Cohen, Parth Shah, Laura Kwerel, and Thomas Lu. Our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can also follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain.