Hindsight Bias Essay, Research Paper
I?ve Always Known About the Hindsight Bias ?Oh, I shouldn?t have missed that question, I knew the answer.? No I didn?t, I just thought I did. I just further proved the concept of the Hindsight Bias, or the ?I knew it all along phenomenon.? This concept came about in the late seventies when psychologists Paul Slovic and Baruch Fischoff began studying how scientific results and historical happenings always seem like common sense to people when in fact , they had no idea. Once people find out something has happened, it seems inevitable that the event happened. Studies have proved this fact by taking a group of people and giving them two concepts exactly opposite of each other. For example, one group may receive ?scientific findings? that opposites in people attract them to one another. The other could receive opposite ?findings? that people tend to stay with others who have similar qualities to their own. After the ?results? are read by the two groups, they both ?knew that people behaved in that manner?, when in fact, they only thought they knew.
This can also come up in the medical field. Doctors given a dead body along with an autopsy report reported that they could have easily foreseen the cause of death. Doctors given bodies without the autopsy had a little more difficult time finding the cause. (Dawson & others, 1988)
Hindsight bias also frequently occurs when looking back on past events. After a football team wins the Super Bowl, fans ?knew all along? the team could pull it off. Or after elections, everyone knew who the winner would end up with the new title. It?s always easier to feel cocky after the game-winning shot sinks.
The text uses an example in the field of politics to back up this point. It describes how it would seem obvious to Americans that Eastern European countries would switch over from communism to democracy. This wasn?t so obvious to Jeanne Kirkpatrick in 1980. She stated that ?The history of this century provides no grounds for expecting that radical totalitarian regimes will transform themselves.? This isn?t saying that common sense is wrong, just that it often comes about after the fact. Many would say that common sense describes the past better than it predicts the future.After hearing about this phenomenon, I started thinking to myself how often this happens. I think everyone has heard someone do this and also done it themselves. I have many friends that when doing anything from watching Jeopardy to playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire on the computer claim to have known the answer after they answer it falsely and find out the actual answer. When thinking about it, everyone should win the million dollars since they know everything.In relating this to my own life, the person that sticks out the most to me is my girlfriends mother. Since I don?t live in the same city as her, I don?t experience it as much as I used to. When I do go down however, it never fails that anything I tell her has happened, she ?knew it would.? And since I learned about the hindsight, I decided I would put her to the test. A couple friends of mine go to school here and they have been dating for around two years. One morning, while talking to the man of the relationship, he informed me that he and his girlfriend had gotten into a fight. This gave me an idea. The next time I went home, I started discussing this with Terri (my girlfriend?s mother). For the purposes of psychological research, I added a couple minor details to her about the fight.(I told her they had broken up due to a cheating incident) When told about this, she responded with ?I knew that when that girl got to college she would get wild, I could have told you they would break up eventually.? Of course, since I like my girlfriend and would like to continue my relationship with her, I didn?t tell her about my experiment.So in conclusion, you most likely knew everything I wrote in this paper already, didn?t you?