Hindsight bias  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hindsight bias is the inclination to see events that have occurred as more predictable than they in fact were before they took place. Hindsight bias has been demonstrated experimentally in a variety of settings, including politics, games and medicine. In psychological experiments of hindsight bias, subjects also tend to remember their predictions of future events as having been stronger than they actually were, in those cases where those predictions turn out correct.

Prophecy that is recorded after the fact is an example of hindsight bias, given its own rubric, as vaticinium ex eventu.

One explanation of the bias is the availability heuristic: the event that did occur is more salient in one's mind than the possible outcomes that did not.

It has been shown that examining possible alternatives may reduce the effects of this bias.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hindsight bias" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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