Autoregressive model is a popular method for analysing the time dependent data, where selection of order parameter is imperative. Two commonly used selection criteria are the Akaike information criterion (AIC) and the Bayesian information criterion (BIC), which are known to suffer the potential problems regarding overfit and underfit, respectively. To our knowledge, there does not exist a criterion in the literature that can satisfactorily perform under various situations. Therefore, in this paper, we focus on forecasting the future values of an observed time series and propose an adaptive idea to combine the advantages of AIC and BIC but to mitigate their weaknesses based on the concept of generalized degrees of freedom. Instead of applying a fixed criterion to select the order parameter, we propose an approximately unbiased estimator of mean squared prediction errors based on a data perturbation technique for fairly comparing between AIC and BIC. Then use the selected criterion to determine the final order parameter. Some numerical experiments are performed to show the superiority of the proposed method and a real data set of the retail price index of China from 1952 to 2008 is also applied for illustration.