Hindsight bias: the knew-it-all-along phenomenon - Ness Labs - Deepstash
Hindsight bias: the knew-it-all-along phenomenon - Ness Labs

Hindsight bias: the knew-it-all-along phenomenon - Ness Labs

Curated from: nesslabs.com

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The Hindsight Bias

A bias that many people including historians, experts and physicians encounter is the hindsight bias, which makes them think they knew how an event would turn out before it happened. It is the tendency for people to perceive past outcomes as having been more predictable than they actually were.

This phenomenon has been linked to distortion of memory, which unconsciously makes us understand the world based on our outlook.


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The Factors Behind The Hindsight Bias

  1. Selective Activation And Reconstructive Anchoring (SARA): Only remembering the information partially and using the same as a memory anchor to reactivate the (altered) memory when new information arrives.
  2. Reconstruction After Feedback (RAFT): Taking ‘the best’ approach involves using one’s influence and exposure about a particular knowledge and taking the best answer based on our reconstruction of information, and creating a biased version of the same.
  3. Causal Model Theory (CMT): Using a ‘cause reasoning’ for explaining the reality of an event that is different from one’s expectations, mainly by retrieving selective memories.


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Hindsight Bias: Consequences

If the bias distortion is within limits, hindsight bias makes a normal person confident and self-assured and facilitates decision making.

Rational thinking is impaired with hindsight bias, as one is not inclined towards learning from experience, or having a growth mindset which involves views different from our own.


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Alternative Hypotheses For Hindsight Bias

The hindsight bias is so entrenched and common that it is not possible to completely get rid of it, even if the individual is aware and has the intention of removing the bias.

Looking at alternative facts, checking the anomalies and your own assumptions can reduce the bias to some extent.


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