Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society






(First Paragraph) The Hindsight Bias Effect (HBE) describes the observation that once people are aware of an outcome to a situation, they have a tendency to falsely believe that they would have predicted the true outcome (see Guibault et al., 2004) Historically, the most popular explanations for this effect can be described as Cognitive Reconstruction Models of retrospective judgment formation (Hawkins & Hastie, 1990). These theories propose the hindsight bias occurs when people do not or cannot directly recall their initial judgment at the point of retrospection. Therefore, people attempt to reconstruct their original predictive judgment by re-judging the situation anew. All of these theories propose that the knowledge of the outcome somehow affects the information or cues used in this reconstruction process, thereby leading to retrospective judgments that are more in favor of the given outcome. However, these Cognitive Reconstruction theories all propose different mechanisms for reconstruction which lead to diverging predictions about what variables should moderate the HBE.

Original Publication Citation

Ash, I. K., & Comer, C. S. (2007). The role of expectation and memory in the hindsight bias effect: A test of cognitive reconstruction models. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.


0000-0001-7256-5308 (Ivan Ash)

Included in

Psychology Commons