Research on hindsight bias: A rich past, a productive present, and a challenging future

  title={Research on hindsight bias: A rich past, a productive present, and a challenging future},
  author={Ulrich Hoffrage and R{\"u}diger F. Pohl},
  pages={329 - 335}
In this introduction to the present issue, we give a brief description of the phenomenon. Subsequently, we discuss the major theoretical accounts, focusing on how these are related to the papers included in the issue. 

Topics from this paper

How many hindsight biases are there?
It is argued that the hindsight bias is not a unitary phenomenon but consists of three separable and partially independent subphenomena or components, namely, memory distortions, impressions of foreseeability and impressions of necessity, which are investigated in the context of political elections.
Ways to assess hindsight bias
Hindsight bias is a robust phenomenon; it has been found with different designs, materials, and measures. However, several methodological problems may hinder an adequate analysis and interpretation
Looking back on the London Olympics: Independent outcome and hindsight effects in decision evaluation.
In an Internet study of retrospections on the 2012 London Olympics, evaluations of the Games' success and its foreseeability had independent effects on evaluations ofThe International Olympic Committee's decision to award the Olympics to London; there was no evidence of mediation.
Increased or reversed? The effect of surprise on hindsight bias depends on the hindsight component.
  • S. Nestler, B. Egloff
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
  • 2009
The present results strongly support the separate-components view of the hindsight bias, which argues that hindsight bias consists of 3 independent components: memory distortions, impressions of inevitability and impressions of foreseeability.
Controllability and hindsight components: Understanding opposite hindsight biases for self-relevant negative event outcomes
This article contrasts two explanations for the anomaly in the hindsight bias literature, one of which points to an influence of perceived control over the event outcome, and the other to differences in the observed hindsight components.
Taking a naïve other's perspective to debias the hindsight bias: Did it backfire?
Abstract Hindsight bias is a phenomenon that occurs when outcome knowledge interferes with the ability to accurately recall judgments made in a previous, naive state. Also known as the “knew it all
Can Exposure to Post-outcome Information "Debias" the Hindsight Bias?
Can Exposure to Post-outcome Information “Debias” the Hindsight Bias? Ivan K. Ash ( Department of Psychology Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA 23529-0267 on almanac trivia questions
This article reviews and compares three cognitive process models that relate hindsight bias to changes in an underlying knowledge base as a result of outcome feedback. Two of these models, SARA
Age Differences in Processes Underlying Hindsight Bias: A Life-Span Study
ABSTRACT Hindsight bias is the tendency to overestimate one’s prior knowledge of a fact or event after learning the actual fact. Recent research has suggested that age-related differences in


Hindsight bias: How knowledge and heuristics affect our reconstruction of the past
It is observed that the more comprehensive people's knowledge is in foresight, the smaller is their hindsight bias, and the relation between foresight knowledge and hindsight bias appears to be independent of how knowledge is processed.
The Reiteration Effect in Hindsight Bias
Repetition of an assertion increases the degree of belief in that assertion. This reiteration effect is used to explain two puzzling findings in research on hindsight bias. First, the reiteration
"I couldn't have seen it coming": The impact of negative self-relevant outcomes on retrospections about foreseeability
It is 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.
Surprise, defence, or making sense: What removes hindsight bias?
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.
The hindsight bias: A meta-analysis
Abstract The hindsight bias in probability assessments is one of the most frequently cited judgment biases. A meta-analysis of 122 studies revealed evidence that the bias occurs under some conditions
Outcome feedback: hindsight and information
Cinq experiences visent a approfondir l'etude de la tendance des individus a exagerer ce qui a pu etre anticipe lors de previsions, en confrontant les sujets a in feedback sur leurs resultats
Hindsight bias: Impaired memory or biased reconstruction?
The hindsight bias is the tendency for people to believe falsely that they would have predicted the outcome of an event, once the outcome is known. Although there is a rich literature on hindsight
Hindsight bias: a by-product of knowledge updating?
It is concluded that hindsight bias can be understood as a by-product of an adaptive process, namely the updating of knowledge after feedback.
The Confidence-Hindsight Mirror Effect in Judgment: An Accuracy-Assessment Model for the Knew-It-All-Along Phenomenon
This article presents a model for the "knew-it-all-along effect": the accuracy-assessment model. The model is based on the assumption that participants in hindsight studies use the strategy of trying
Hindsight bias after receiving self-relevant health risk information: A motivational perspective
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.