Intuitive expertise in social forecasting (‘three-phase motor’ technique)




social forecasting, intuitive expert study, Fermi method, forecast model, expert interview


The paper is devoted to the justification of short-term scientific forecasting of social processes based on intuitive expertise. The author describes a ‘three-phase motor’ technique of expert interviews that helps to reduce risks of inaccurate forecasts of this type. The technique has the following characteristics: 1) two types of experts are included in the sample for the expert interview on short-range forecasts (‘experts for the working model’ and ‘experts for separate factors of the model’); 2) the expertise of factors which determine the state of a social phenomenon is analyzed instead of analyzing the interviews of multi-disciplinary ‘experts of the future’; the results of this analysis lay foundation for the forecast; 3) a special technique (based on M. Gladwell’s theory of ‘thin slices’) is used for intuitive expertise where experts are being ‘retained’ in the field of their expertise. A case study of the application of this technique in practice is a shortrange forecast of the development of the technopark enterprises of Saratov university. The author addressed the sample problems for short-range scientific forecasts made by a special type of experts called «stalkers» (those who have experienced the ‘future’). The author also provides perspectives and examples of the use of the ‘Fermi method’ in the intuitive expertise for social forecasting.