"I couldn't have seen it coming": The impact of negative self-relevant outcomes on retrospections about foreseeability

@article{Mark2003ICH,
  title={"I couldn't have seen it coming": The impact of negative self-relevant outcomes on retrospections about foreseeability},
  author={Melvin M. Mark and Renee Reiter Boburka and Kristen M. Eyssell and Laurie L. Cohen and Steven Mellor},
  journal={Memory},
  year={2003},
  volume={11},
  pages={443 - 454}
}
We examined a phenomenon related to hindsight bias, specifically, retrospective judgements about the foreseeability of an outcome. We predicted that negative, self-relevant outcomes would be judged as less foreseeable by the recipient of the outcome than by others, unlike either positive outcomes or outcomes that are not self-relevant. In the context of a "stock market decision-making game", the hypothetical stock selected by one of two players showed an extreme increase or decrease. As… 
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Hindsight Bias
  • N. Roese, K. Vohs
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2012
TLDR
New technologies for visualizing and understanding data sets may have the unintended consequence of heightening hindsight bias, but an intervention that encourages people to consider alternative causal explanations for a given outcome can reduce hindsight bias.
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It is suggested that a sense of responsibility for the outcome may be necessary for defensive processing to be activated and a proposed sense-making model suggests that unexpected outcomes invoke greater sensemaking, which typically produces greater hindsight bias.
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While the unexpected positive feedback group showed no systematic recall bias, hindsight estimations of individuals receiving unexpectedly negative feedback showed a dynamic change over time, which might reflect a change of the motivational focus from "hot affect" and fear control, to danger control, which occurs some time after the feedback.
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