[Question] Tracking accuracy of personal forecasts

by CheerfulWarrior1 min read20th Mar 201914 comments



I've been thinking how I can improve my accuracy predicting events of personal interest (e.g., "Will my landlord get the washing machine fixed within the next two weeks", or "Will my parent die this year" for a more extreme example). Betting markets will not help me with that.

At first I thought about creating dedicated software that gathers such predictions, the final outcomes of predicted events, and presents their accuracy so that the user can spot bias. Then I realised a simple spreadsheet might suffice to gather data at first and assess how useful this is. And if the need arises in the future, it should be easy to import into dedicated software, provided that all the relevant data is already there.

Does anyone track their personal predictions? If so, what methodology do you use, and did it allow you to improve your accuracy?

As an RFC, here's the spreadsheet layout I have on mind:

  • Tags: (value 0 or 1):
    • Health
    • Finance
    • Interpersonal relations
    • ...
  • Date of the forecast
  • Event (e.g., "My landlord will get the washing machine fixed within the next two weeks"). I'm planning to formulate them so that "yes" is always the desired outcome, so that it's easy to spot if I'm reliably too optimistic or pessimistic.
  • Estimated probability
  • Deadline of the forecast
  • Outcome (value 0 or 1, filled after the deadline of the forecast, or when the answer is known sooner)