Quinta-feira, 2 de Abril de 2020

Hindsight Bias: Why We Overestimate Our Ability to Predict Events.

Hindsight Bias: 

Why We Overestimate Our Ability to Predict Events.

Janey Davies, B.A.

https://www.learning-mind.com

April 1st, 2020.

 
 

 
They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, but don’t you just hate it when people say things like ‘I told you that would happen’ or ‘I just knew it all along’? Are they particularly gifted in their ability to see into the future or predict the past? I’m afraid not. They are more likely to suffer from something called hindsight bias.

What Is Hindsight Bias?

Simply put, it is a psychological phenomenon that explains why people overestimate their ability to predict an outcome they had no chance of predicting.
In hindsight bias, we either revise the probabilities after the event, or we exaggerate the extent to which an event could have been predicted.
In other words, people overestimate how predictable an event is and subsequently believe they predicted it before it happened. When an event or experience is occurring we can guess to the possible outcomes. However, there’s no way we can possibly predict what is going to happen.
We might get a gut feeling or hope for a particular result, but there’s no way of really knowing.

Examples of a Hindsight Bias

  • Your football wins the World Cup trophy and you knew all along they would win.
  • The political party you voted for in the last election loses drastically and you were convinced they would lose.
  • Your favourite soap actor gets killed off in a recent episode and you remember thinking it would happen.
  • The weather forecast has a 10% chance of rain, but it does. You told everyone it was going to rain.

But Why Do We Fall into This Cognitive Trap?

Research in 2012 from psychological scientists Roese and Vohs from the University of Minnesota suggests there are three cognitive factors that contribute to hindsight bias.
  1. Memory Distortion

‘I said that would happen.’
We distort or misremember the event and our predictions at that particular time. When we look back we think we knew the outcome all along.
  1. Inevitability

‘It had to happen.’
We believe the event was inevitable and that it would happen. When assessing something that has occurred, we assume it was bound to happen.
  1. Foreseeability

‘I knew it would happen.’
We assume that we could have foreseen the outcome of the event.
It is when the above three factors occur together that you are likely to see the hindsight bias.
The Cognitive Processing That Leads to Hindsight Bias
So what is actually going on in our minds when we fall for the hindsight bias? Let’s examine each one of the three cognitive factors:

Memory

When we look back at an event, our minds subconsciously cherry-pick the information we know to be true. We then create a whole new narrative that is different from the actual event, thus allowing us to remember it the way we want to.

Inevitability

Now we have processed the event with our cherry-picked bits of information we have our story that backs up our prediction. Now the narrative is simple to understand it is much easier for us to see the outcome.

Foreseeability

So we have doctored our memories to make sense of the event. This allows us closure. Once again, we have made sense of the chaos of ordinary life. Balance is restored and the world is ordered again.
As a result, ultimately, hindsight bias makes us feel good about ourselves and the world around us. We feel safe in our own knowledge. Our judgement was right. We predicted what was going to happen and it did happen.
The world is back to normal again. But there are problems with this cognitive bias.
“If you feel like you knew it all along, it means you won’t stop to examine why something really happened,” says Roese. “It’s often hard to convince seasoned decision-makers that they might fall prey to hindsight bias.”
Hindsight bias can also fool us into thinking we know more than we do. We can become over-confident in our own abilities and judgments on the world.
When we think ‘we knew it all along’, we don’t stop to ask pertinent questions. It can stop us from examining additional evidence. We’ve already predicted the outcome. Why do we need further investigation?
The problem with hindsight bias is that it can lead to poor decision-making, over-reliance on past results and simplifying outcomes.
As with all biases, these are the mental shortcuts we take every day to make sense of the world. But these shortcuts in our thinking can have dire consequences. Including, as Vohl’s states:
“A myopic attention to a single causal understanding of the past (to the neglect of other reasonable explanations) as well as general overconfidence in the certainty of one’s judgements”.

When Is Hindsight Bias Dangerous?

People can follow the same path as before because they believe they already know the outcome. For example, in the business world, it can be difficult to know what exactly makes a successful enterprise. Investors will fund similar markets because they made money before.
CEOs will back a certain product because its predecessor did well and made a profit. In addition, judges in the courtroom can come up against the same defendant and assume they will follow a particular criminal path as before.
In all of the above examples, no one is examining the situation before them at that present moment. They are basing their decision on past events. The trouble with doing this is that they are misremembering what happened. So the information they are using to make future decisions is tarnished.

How to Avoid Hindsight Bias

There are ways you can avoid this type of bias.
Start from scratch – When you come up against a situation you have encountered before, analyse from the beginning. Don’t use past events to influence you.
Get constant feedback – Studies show that those who receive continual feedback on their work are less likely to fall for hindsight bias.
Use all the information you have – This is known as Bayesian Thinking after the 18-century English statistician Thomas Bayes. His idea was that all information is relevant, but some information has more value. Your job is to weigh up what is important and what is not.
You do not have a crystal ball – Make decisions on the actual data in front of you. Not what you think might happen. Whatever the evidence says pay attention to it. Not your gut feelings.

Final thoughts

We all like to think we are special and have amazing talents. The truth is we are just ordinary people trying to make sense of the world.
 
References:
  1. www.investopedia.com
  2. www.verywellmind.com


Janey Davies



About the Author: Janey Davies.
Janey Davies has been published online for over 8 years. She is the head writer for Shoppersbase.com, she also writes for AvecAgnes.co.uk, Ewawigs.com and has contributed to inside3DP.com. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology and her passions include learning about the mind, popular science and politics. When she is relaxing she likes to walk her dog, read science fiction and listen to Muse.
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 
 
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

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Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


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publicado por achama às 02:49
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Quinta-feira, 13 de Fevereiro de 2020

How Distinction Bias Is Tricking You into Making the Wrong Choices

How Distinction Bias Is Tricking You into Making the Wrong Choices.

Lauren Edwards-Fowle.

learning-mind.com

Posted February 12th, 2020.

 



 
We all like to think we are in control of our decisions, but these are often influenced by many factors around us, leading our thought processes in one direction.
 
What is distinction bias?
 
Distinction bias is the influence of making a choice when presented with two similar options side by side simultaneously. This is a tactic often used by retailers, who display a system of ‘good, better and best’ products alongside each other.
 
 
It may be that the best product is manufactured to the same standard and performs the same as the good product. However, the price differential creates a perception of quality and drives the customer to buy the more expensive item.
 
This applies to many scenarios where your own instinctive choice is interrupted by a comparable which makes you reconsider.
 
How does it affect relationships?
 
If you find someone really attractive and enjoy spending time with them, it would be natural to consider taking things further. You aren’t presented with a raft of options to compare against one another. You are guided by your feelings, emotions and instinct.
 
However, if they are introduced next to their twin who is slightly taller and perhaps better dressed, would you still proceed with your intuitive response to get to know your initial crush? Or, would you subconsciously start comparing them with another person simply because they are standing next to each other?
 
Can it change the way we treat people?
 
It most certainly can, and does. A great example is that of behavior comparisons. This happens most around people you know well, such as your child or your spouse. You have a preconceived idea about their personality, and how they behave. This means that when something out of the ordinary happens, you immediately start comparing their actions or words with their everyday persona.
 
Examples of distinction bias in real life
 
Situations which you would consider perfectly acceptable in anybody else become the kindle for an argument. For example, you have spent a lot of time choosing your child’s party fancy dress outfit and think they look fabulous. You take lots of pictures and are really proud. Then you take them to a party, and some of the other kids have outfits much more elaborate than yours. Are you suddenly feeling a little inadequate, or that you should have made more effort?
 
Why? Five minutes ago you were glowing with pride!
 
The same can apply to working alongside a spouse. In their everyday life, they are friendly, amiable and easy-going. When you work together on a project, you find them bossy, loud and controlling. In actuality, any other professional leading a project in the same way would be fine with you. However, because it is your spouse, and you are now seeing them contrasted with their persona at home, you find it irksome and annoying.
 
 
Why? They’re a great professional doing their job!
 
Can we avoid being influenced by distinction bias?
 
Yes, we can – being aware that it exists, and that we are all susceptible to being influenced is important in so many ways. The old cliché of the grass being greener on the other side rings true. However, it is human nature to analyze our choices more carefully when we have another, perhaps ‘better’ option available, which might negate our happiness with our gut instinct.
 
Often, taking a step back from making a decision and being able to rationalize and think about the choices we make – or are about to make – is a great way to avoid making a poor choice without having really understood why.
 
If you are buying something and have set yourself a budget, try to remember that. Don’t be driven by the glossy packaging of a product which is marketed in a way to influence you to spend more money than you need to.
 
Where does distinction bias most affect us?
 
One of the biggest places within modern life where distinction bias causes negative effects is social media. Every platform presents the user with multiple images, people and products all displayed side by side.
 
This scenario creates a situation where we are constantly making comparisons and scrutinizing which person, or which product, is ‘the best’. This culture of comparison leads to toxic emotions such as jealousy, resentment, and lack of self-worth.
 
Remember that social media is a place where every person and company showcase the very best of themselves. Individual images or captions are highly unlikely to be indicative of daily life.
 
There is a growing movement to be more conscious of the alternate reality which is presented online. Particularly where influencers or celebrities target adverts manipulating the fears of groups of people, there is new legislation being introduced to regulate this. It can be all too easy for a young impressionable person to feel bombarded with pictures of beautiful, slim strangers. They might feel that they look differently and become convinced that they are not worth as much.
 
In this situation, it is extremely powerful to remember that this is another symptom of distinction bias. There is absolutely no need to compare your visual identity to that of anybody else. Looking at each part of your life in direct comparison with others is not a healthy way to make life choices.
 
How can we live our lives free of cognitive bias?
 
In reality, it is probably impossible to never allow any outside influence to impact our way of thinking. Salespeople love to think they ‘can’t be sold to’, but we all respond to factors in a human way.
 
Being mindful of your thoughts, how much pressure you put on yourself to make a decision, and analyzing why you are making a choice are all simple ways to keep on track. Being accountable for your decisions, particularly organizational or financial ones that impact your family, can help you to rationalize your actions and keep your focus on what you set out to achieve without deviating.
 
 
References:
  1. Psychology Today
  2. Research Gate

Lauren Edwards-Fowle
 
 
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
 

 

 
About the Author: Lauren Edwards-Fowle


 
Lauren Edwards-Fowle is a professional copywriter based in South East England. Lauren worked within Children's Services for five years before moving into the business sector. She holds an MSc in Applied Accountancy and BSc in Corporate Law. She now volunteers within the community sport sector, helping young people to live healthier, more productive lifestyles and overcome the barriers to inclusion that they face. With a keen interest in physical wellbeing, nutrition and sports, Lauren enjoys participating in a variety of team sports in her spare time, as well as spending time with her young family and their dog Scout.
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
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publicado por achama às 01:50
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Quarta-feira, 1 de Maio de 2019

3 Interesting Decision-Making Theories Which Explain the Choices We Make ~ Sherrie.

3 Interesting Decision-Making Theories Which Explain the Choices We Make.

By Sherrie.

April 30, 2019


 

Decision-making theories come are quite useful. When it’s time to make an important choice, there’s no need to delay.
Whether we are familiar with theories regarding decision-making or not, in this day and age, choice is in abundance. What do we want to eat, which sofa should we purchase, do you get a dog or not? Because we have way too many options, it can make choosing much harder than it should be.
Choice is our ability to make decisions when presented with two or more options. When we have more than two options, we must make a choice. This is what the world presents to us. Therefore, it is the truth of how free will works. We can then live and artistically create the life we want to.
So, why is it so difficult? Ultimately, choice represents the sacrifices we must make. We automatically give up something else when we make a choice between two or more things.
This means, if we find ourselves wanting something else next month, chances are that choice will be gone – non-existent. We have to take what we have today, and this depends on what we choose.

Decision-making theories – the basics

Different approaches to decision-making are sometimes called Choice theories. William Glasser founded this term from a book with the same title. According to Glasser, freedom, fun, power, love and belonging, and survival are basic satisfied needs which come from choices we make.
The idea that choices are mostly made by humans, which enhance what we really want, is an idea that’s been around for quite some time. Choice and the psychology behind it is the reason we make the decisions that we do. It’s a subconscious decision that motivates our satisfaction and meeting those satisfactions.

Here are three decision-making theories that will help you to understand the choices you make. It might even encourage you to make better ones!

1. Our emotions connect to our actions

Neuroscientist and professor at USC and Salk Institute, Dr. Antonio Damasio says that our decisions come from visceral emotion. The definition of his theory is that there is a link between “raw” emotions and the part of the brain which governs decisions. He, therefore, concluded that decision making and judgment come from a critical neural circuit.
Damasio concludes that non-rational and rational processes bridge feeling and emotion. If meaning and motivation, would not be possible if emotional input was absent, and decision making could not happen.
Damasio believes that we don’t only base our choices on logic and fact, but also on memories and emotions. This is why we make decisions on unconscious levels. Our intuition guides us.

2. Decisions can be costly – literally!

Does making decisions result in reduced self-control? A study from the University of Minnesota points to yes. The study also showed more procrastination, lack of ability to persist in failed circumstances, decrease in physical stamina, and worsening of arithmetic abilities
Researchers, to conduct the study asked students for help. After dividing into two groups, the teams take on studies much like the others but to understand how choices affect things. Identical product lists were given to all the students in the initial experiment.
A singular group was asked questions revolved around how often, in the past, that the product was used. However, one group was about how often they’d used the products in the past. The same product, with variations, were chosen by the other group. In another experiment, one group answered questions such as this and the other did not.
“Making choices apparently depleted a precious self-resource,” wrote the authors in the conclusion of their study. “This is because subsequent self-regulation is poorer among those who had made choices than it was among those who had not. This pattern became clear in the laboratory, classroom, and shopping mall.”

3. Watch out for bias!

There is absolutely no doubt that our biases affect our choices. However, there is one particular bias that focuses on decision-making theories in many situations.
Loss aversion bias is one such example. No one likes to be left out or miss important things. Fact. However, it isn’t as important to gain something than it is to avoid losing something. This is the way aversion works. The endowment effect shows us through our desire to keep what we have instead of striving for more.
Daniel Kahneman, in yet another study, gave test subjects either an empty mug, nothing or chocolate.  They could trade or choose between two other objects. Half of them wanted the mugs, but those who already had mugs did not want to give them up – about 86% of participants, showing the desire to keep the possessions a person already has.

How to make hard decisions easier

Choices are hard, you see. I guess you understand now. No matter what, some choices you make will always be hard. However, some of these decision-making theories might just help you understand your own choices.
We don’t always have a rational reason to make decisions. They cannot separate from our identity, our location, or what helps us decide what to wear. Maybe we will be able to make wiser choices and help others make proper decisions too, as long as we understand psychological influences and factors that affect our decisions.
References:
  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com
  2. https://www.forbes.com
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
About the Author: Sherrie

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.

COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

 



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