No Amplification of Hindsight Bias Due to Time Delay

John W. DenBoer


Hindsight bias is a phenomenon in which individuals tend to overestimate the degree of accuracy to which they can recall an event after the fact. This study examined the effect of time delay on hindsight bias. Participants (n = 66) gave numerical responses to test questions (Phase 1) and were later provided with the solutions to these questions (Phase 2), at which time they were asked to recall their original answers. Group 1 received a short time delay of 1 day between Phases 1 and 2, while Group 2 experienced a medium delay (1 week) and Group 3 a long delay (3 weeks). Although non-significant results were obtained, a trend was found toward increased hindsight bias with longer time delay.

Full Text:



Arkes, H.R., Faust, D., Guilmette, T.J., & Hart, K. (1988). Eliminating the hindsight bias. Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 305-307.

Blank, H., Fischer, V., & Erdfelder, E. (2003). Hindsight bias in political elections. Memory, 11, 491-504.

Brown, R.S., Williams, C.W., & Less-Haley, P.R. (1994). The effects of hindsight bias and causal attribution on human response to environmental events. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 661-674.

Bryant, F.B., & DeHoek, A. (2006). Looking Back on What We Knew and When We Knew It: The Role of Time in the Development of Hindsight Bias. In: L.J. Sanna and E.C. Chang (Eds.): Judgments over time: The interplay of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. New York, NY, US: Oxford U. Press, 230-250.

Chapman, G.B. & Johnson, E.J. (1994). The limits of anchoring. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 7, 223-242.

Czaczkes, B. & Ganzach, Y. (1996). The natural selection of prediction heuristics: Anchoring and adjustment versus representativeness. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 9, 125-139.

Fischoff, B. (1975). Hindsight ? foresight: The effect of outcome knowledge on judgment under uncertainty. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1, 288-299.

Hardt, O. & Pohl, R.F. (2003). Hindsight bias as a function of anchor distance and anchor plausibility. Memory, 11, 379-394.

Hawkins, S.A. & Hastie, R. (1990). Hindsight: Biased judgments of past events after the outcomes are known. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 311-327.

Hertwig, R., Fanselow, C., Hoffrage, U. (2003). Hindsight bias: How knowledge and heuristics affect our reconstruction of the past. Memory, 11, 357-377.

Hoffrage, U., Hertwig, R., & Gigerenzer, G. (2000). Hindsight bias: A by-product of knowledge updating? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 566-581.

Leary, M.R. (1982). Hindsight distortion and the 1980 presidential election. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 8, 257-263.

Musch, J. (2003). Personality differences in hindsight bias. Memory, 11, 473-489.

Pezzo, M.V. (2003). Surprise, defence, or making sense: what removes hindsight bias? Memory, 11, 421-441.

Pohl, R.F., Bender, M., Lachmann, G. (2002). Hindsight bias around the world. Experimental Psychology, 49, 270-282.

Pohl, F. & Hell, W. (1996). No reduction in hindsight bias after complete information and repeated testing. Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, 67, 49-58.

Renner, B. (2003). Hindsight bias after receiving self-relevant health risk information: a motivational perspective. Memory, 11, 455-472.

Roese, N.J. & Maniar, S.D. (1997). Perceptions of purple: Counterfactual and hindsight judgments at Northwestern Wildcats football games. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1245-1253.

Wood, G. (1978). The I-knew-it-all-along effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 4, 345-353.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 The New School Psychology Bulletin

© The New School Psychology Bulletin |