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Questions 33-42 are based on the following passage and supplementary material.
Adapted from Neal J. Roese and Kathleen D.Vohs, "Hindsight Bias" 2012 by Neau. Roese and Kathleen D.Vons
Hindsight bias is defined as the belief that an event is more predictable after it becomes known than it was before it became known. For example, Line a voter might believe that after accepting the Democratic nomination for president in August 2008, Barack Obama's chances of winning the U.S. presidency were about 60%. After Obama's victory in November 2008, this same voter might look back, see the victory as more predictable than it was before the outcome was known, and conclude that Obama's chances were at least 80% at the time of the convention. Sometimes termed the "Knew it all along effect;' hindsight bias involves the inability to recapture the feeling of uncertainty that preceded an event. When there is a need to understand past events as they were experienced at the time, hindsight bias thwarts sound appraisal.Hindsight bias has important consequences for the legal system, particularly with respect to
20 negligence, product liability, and medical malpractice. In legal applications, the danger of hindsight bias is clear, in that law of many
nations states that a defendant may only be judged on the basis of what he or she could reasonably have known at the time of action. Knowledge that is gathered later, such as from accident scene investigations, forensic tests, or the arbitrary discovery of an oddly misused product, is deemed irrelevant in evaluating the quality of the decisions made in the moment, that is, before a focal mishap occurred. As empirical studies have shown, however, hindsight bias routinely afflicts judgments of a defendant's past conduct.
The reality of hindsight bias is sometimes difficult
35 to convey to seasoned decision makers because hindsight bias can be confused with simple learning from experience. Individual and organizations innovate, thrive, and prosper when they analyze mistakes and adjust their strategies accordingly.
This interpretation follow along the lines of "only fools wouldn't know more after learning an outcome than before it occurred:'When, then, is knowledge born of hindsight a benefit to be embraced, and when is it a bias to be avoided? The answer is in the timing of making a conclusion. Knowledge born of hindsight is appropriate and useful when directed at current actions and future plans, in which it informs ongoing strategy. By contrast, knowledge born of hindsight may involve error when directed at past moments in time, as in evaluating the skill of decision makers who had no crystal ball and so could not possibly have known what is known now.
Two main experimental strategies document hindsight bias: a within-subject memory design and a 55 between-subject hypothetical design. In the memory design, each participant gives two judgments, one before and one after a focal outcome. For example, before a football game, a fan might estimate the likelihood that the home team will win. After a factual outcome is established (the home team did in fact win), the fan estimates the likelihood of victory as it was before the game was played (which may involve attempting to retrieve one's earlier estimate from memory). Hindsight bias is defined as the difference between the foresight and hindsight likelihood estimates.
The hypothetical design involves independent experimental groups that either receive or do not receive outcome information. Returning to the
10 football game example, both groups would watch the game, but only one group would see the ending and learn that the home team had won (outcome condition vs. no-outcome condition). Then participants in the no-outcome condition estimate the likelihood of a home team victory, whereas participants in the outcome condition are instructed to disregard their knowledge of how the game turned out and then make this same likelihood judgment while imagining themselves to be in the shoes of no-outcome participants. Hindsight bias is defined as the difference between these two groups' likelihood estimates.
Hindsight Bias among Entrepreneurs
In a 2009 study by economists Gavin Cassar and Justin Craig, hundreds of entrepreneurs who were starting new business were asked to estimate the likelihood that their business would be successful. Years later, those whose business has failed were asked to recall, when they were getting started, what they had thought their chances of success were.