Psychohistory dealt not with man, but with man-masses. It was the science of mobs; mobs in their billions. It could forecast reactions to stimuli with something of the accuracy that a lesser science could bring to the forecast of a rebound of a billiard ball.
The entire book in itself is built around predicting the future using data and statistics. This branch of science is called “psychohistory” which is basically projecting the faith of humanity. The book is full of hints and principles of how this science can and should be used.
甚至，有資料科學家從艾西莫夫的書中精煉出 7 data science principles introduced in Asimov’s Foundation ，這個由 Eszter Windhager-Pokol 1整理的七大原則是：
- Huge amount of data is needed to produce reliable results.
- The amount of data implicates that the analysis requires computers, manual computation is impractical.
- Simple predictive models could be refined by adding more fields into the analysis.
- The results of the predictions are given in percentages.
- Use confidence interval.
- Predictions for individuals are much less reliable.
- Predictions for near future are more accurate than predictions for far future.