B.E. For Dogs: Hindsight Bias

B.E. for Dogs is a bi-weekly comic series that will examine concepts in behavioral economics from the perspective of our canine companions. Look out for new comics every other week!

The series is created by Matt TrowerCatherine Berman, and Jamie Foehl.

behavioral economics from the perspective

Hindsight Bias: The hindsight bias refers to the tendency to view an event as predictable after it has already happened. It’s easy to say, “I knew it all along!” after we learn about a finding. The first experiment testing hindsight bias in 1975 asked people to make predictions about different current events, such as what would happen on President Nixon’s trip to Beijing and Moscow before the trip took place. Following the trip, people were asked to recall the probabilities they had assigned to different outcomes. Participants overestimated how likely they had thought the real events were, once they knew what had really happened.

One note of caution: hindsight bias might make us think that we’re better at predicting the future than we actually are. But you already knew that, right?