Hindsight bias: the knew-it-all-along phenomenon - Ness Labs
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.
The limits of our memory serve us well in many respects.
Limited memories are useful trade-off to allow us to function and survive. We have thousands of memories, for example, of tables. If we recall all the events related to a table, it will create mass confusion with data overload.
Flawed memories may also help us to cope with our past and navigate our future. It may give us more confidence in our past decisions or make us remember happier events.
Next time you experience a tip-of-the-tongue state, don't retrieve the information from memory. Instead, look up the correct answer. Repeat it a few times or write it down to help with encoding.
People that experience the tip-of-the-tongue state often suffer from incorrect practice time. Instead of learning the correct work, they are learning the mistake itself. For example, some music students who claim to practice diligently can get worse over time. This is because they keep on repeating the same mistakes, instead of using deliberate practice. They actually train themselves to make mistakes.