Predicting the end of the war
AbstractMonthly predictions of the duration of the European and Pacific wars were made by a panel of 49 members. Their opinion was no more accurate than the public polls until near the end of the war, when the situation was less ambiguous. Optimism and pessimism followed similar cycles for panel and public, in response to reports of major military events. There was no difference in accuracy between panel members who kept records or made systematic predictions and those who followed the impression of the moment, but the latter showed greater sensitivity to news. Variability of opinion was greater for the unfamiliar situation of the Pacific war than for the European war.