Calibration Game 2

Forecasting Tips

Try the range questions again but this time:

  • Consider any facts that you do know about the topic

  • Consider any facts you know that might provide insight– for instance you might not know the distance between any capital world cities; but it will be less than ½ the circumference of the earth (circumference is 25,000 miles / 40,000km at the equator. 

  • Think about the upper and lower estimate independently rather than using one as a reference for the other.

  • Identify what would be ‘extreme’ values for the upper and lower estimates and then consider reasons to make the range narrower.

An example of this is the question ‘How long ago was the Boston USA marathon first run?’

•The correct answer is 1897. Most people get this answer wrong, subjectively putting the earliest date much later. This might be because we perceive jogging and running to be popular and fashionable in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

•One trainee, Christopher, who was familiar with calibration training, reasoned that the original Marathon run took place in ancient times and that the Boston marathon could not be older than the city itself (facts he happened to know).  Based on this he put the earliest date as 1650 and latest date of 1950, and getting a correct answer.

•This is a wide range but reflects the uncertainty associated with knowledge of the question. In a real situation on an important topic, this would probably lead to more research to narrow the range based on evidence and insight – preferable to overconfidence in an poor estimate.

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