The Hindsight Bias: I Knew of all along with Phenomenon

Hindsight bias is defined as the tendency to believe after learning an outcome that one knew it all along and such an outcome was inevitable. BY AYUSH

Hindsight bias is defined as the tendency to believe after learning an outcome that one knew it all along and such an outcome was inevitable. It is also known as (I knew it all along) phenomenon. A cricket team's captain is given the credit if the match is won and the captain is faulted if the match is lost. After a cricket match, war or election, its outcome usually seems to be inevitable, and then we say after the outcome "See this is what I was saying or I knew this would happen".

People have tremendous capacity and willingness to explain away contradictory findings as justifiable based on common sense. For example, half the members of a group were told that psychologists have found that separation weakens romantic attraction and as the saying goes "out of sight out of mind" and asked them to imagine why this might be true. Most people can and nearly all will then view this true finding as not very surprising.

Members of the other half group were told that separation strengthens romantic attractions and as the saying goes "absence makes the heart grow fonder". They were also asked to imagine why this might be true. People have given this untrue result also imagined it and believed the findings. When two opposite findings look like common sense, there is a problem. Such errors in recollection and explanations of the events necessitate psychological research. Just asking people how and why they felt or acted in a particular manner can be misleading sometimes. This is not because common sense is usually wrong, but because common sense describes what has happened and does not tell what will happen.

At least in 100 studies done in different countries among children and adults, hindsight bias was observed. It is observed that our intuitions are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. We are all behavior watchers. So many of the findings in psychology research seem to be seen before. For example, many people believe that love leads to happiness and they seem to be right as we have a deep need to belong. But our intuitions cannot be always correct. For example, the famous saying like familiarity breeds contempt or dreams predicts the future may not be always true as the outcome of an event always depends on the number of environmental factors and also on factors such as brain chemical messages (brain chemical messages control our moods and memories), the effect of stress on a capacity to fight disease and so on.


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