Foresight is the ability to predict, or the action of predicting, what will happen or what is needed in the future. Studies suggest that much of human thought is directed towards potential future events. Because of this, the nature and evolution of foresight is an important topic in psychology.[1] Thinking about the future is studied under the label prospection.[2]

Neuroscientific, developmental, and cognitive studies have identified many similarities to the human ability to recall past episodes.[3] Science magazine selected evidence for such similarities as one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2007.[4] However, fundamental differences separate mentally travelling through time into the future (i.e., foresight) versus mentally travelling through time into the past (i.e., episodic memory).[5]


Foresight has been classified as a behaviour (covert and/or overt) in management. Review, analysis, and synthesis of past definitions and usages of the foresight concept attempted to establish a generic definition, in order to make the concept measurable.[6]

Specifically, foresight has been defined as: "Degree of analyzing present contingencies and degree of moving the analysis of present contingencies across time, and degree of analyzing a desired future state or states a degree ahead in time with regard to contingencies under control, as well as degree of analyzing courses of action a degree ahead in time to arrive at the desired future state."[6]

Prediction markets

Prediction markets are exchange-traded markets created for the purpose of trading on the possible outcomes of events. This information-revealing mechanism is credited to economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Prediction markets allow people to aggregate information and make predictions.

See also


  1. ^ Suddendorf T, Corballis M (2007). "The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel and is it uniquely human?". Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 30 (3): 299–313. doi:10.1017/S0140525X07001975. PMID 17963565.
  2. ^ Suddendorf T, Bulley A, Miloyan B (December 2018). "Prospection and natural selection". Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. 24: 26–31. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.01.019. S2CID 53180176.
  3. ^
  4. ^ News Staff, T. (21 December 2007). "Breakthrough of the Year: The Runners-Up". Science. 318 (5848): 1844–1849. doi:10.1126/science.318.5858.1844a. PMID 18096772.
  5. ^ Suddendorf T (2010). "Episodic Memory Versus Episodic Foresight: Similarities and Differences". Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science. 1: 99–107. doi:10.1002/wcs.23.
  6. ^ a b Amsteus M (2008). "Managerial foresight: concept and measurement". Foresight: The Journal for Future Studies, Strategic Thinking and Policy. 10 (1): 53–66.