Alternative Hypotheses For Hindsight Bias - Deepstash

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

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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Memory bias
Memory bias

A memory bias distorts the content of your memory.

Our memories are reconstructed during recall. The process of recall makes them prone to manipulation and errors.

The many faces of the memory bias
  • Rosy retrospection bias. We often remember the past as having been better than it really was.
  • Consistency bias. We wrongly remember our past attitudes and behaviour as similar to our present attitudes and behaviour.
  • Mood-congruent memory bias. We better remember memories that are consistent with our current mood.
  • Hindsight or knew-it-all-along bias. We consider past events as being predictable.
  • Egocentric bias. We recall past events in a self-serving manner. We remember a caught fish as bigger than it was.
  • Availability bias. We think the memories that come easily to mind is more representative than it really is.
  • Recency effect. We best remember the most recent information.
  • Choice-supportive bias. We remember chosen options as better than rejected options.
  • Fading effect bias. Our emotions associated with negative memories fade faster than our feelings associated with pleasant memories.
  • Confirmation bias. We tend to interpret memories in a way that confirms our prior hypotheses of personal beliefs.
The benefits of our faulty memory

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.
The Blindspot Of Ignorance And Incompetence
The Blindspot Of Ignorance And Incompetence

Humans are not very good at self-evaluation and may be unaware of how ignorant they are. This psychological deficiency is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect, where an illu...

Developing Meta-Cognition

Meta-cognitive skills are developed by:

  1. Self-reflection by journaling, along with a review of your progress and personal changes.
  2. Using second-level thinking by asking yourself about potential blind spots or missing information.
  3. Using mental models for testing your assumptions and separating the signal from the noise.
  4. Taking notes using an app or even pen and paper, trying to visualize your knowledge using diagrams and doodles.
  5. Being aware of the various cognitive biases that can cloud our thinking, and learning more about them.

Meta-cognition is the essential requirement to be able to gauge one’s competence or the lack of it.

The Curse Of Knowledge
The Curse Of Knowledge

The Curse Of Knowledge is common among many experts, teachers and professionals, and is a cognitive bias where the knowledgeable person incorrectly assumes that others are able to decipher ...

Avoiding The Curse Of Knowledge

The negative effects of the curse of knowledge can be avoided by:

  1. Questioning your assumptions and biases, and seeking alternatives to your beliefs for a broader perspective.
  2. Knowing your audience or prospect, accessing their level of knowledge.
  3. Asking honest feedback for your creations.
  4. Including infographics and visuals and minimizing jargon.
The Feynman Technique

The Feynman Technique is a way to understand or reinforce your level of knowledge by pretending to explain the same to a child.

Explaining without the use of complicated words is a way to learn and retain knowledge that lasts.