Making predictions is one of the hallmarks of science, but the extent to which behavioral and social scientists, and lay people can accurately predict societal phenomena and what processes guide their reasoning is unknown. I founded the Behavioral and Social Science Forecasting Collaborative to understand processes guiding scientists’ ex ante forecasts for phenomena of broad societal relevance and which have been theoretically linked to pathogen threat.

In a forecasting tournament, scientists and lay people received standardized past data and submitted monthly forecasts for a year after the initial peak of the pandemic in the US, with an opportunity to update forecasts based on new data six months later.


Forecasing Collaborative (2023). Insights into the accuracy of social scientists’ forecasts of societal change. Nature Human Behaviour, 7, 484–501 [link]
Hutcherson, C., Sharpinskyi, C., Varnum, M. E. W., Rotella, A. M., Wormley, A., Tay, L., & Grossmann, I. (2023). On the accuracy, media representation, and public perception of psychological scientists’ judgments of societal change. American Psychologist. [link]
Grossmann, I., Hutcherson, C., & Varnum, M, E, W. (2023). The limits of expert judgment: Lessons from social science forecasting during the pandemic. The Conversation [link]