Hindsight Bias: Impaired Memory or Biased Reconstruction?

Dagmar Stahlberg, Anne Maass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The hindsight bias is the tendency for people to believe falsely that they would have predicted the outcome of an event, once the outcome is known. Although there is a rich literature on hindsight distortions, the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. The present paper addresses the question of whether hindsight distortions represent the results of memory impairment or biased reconstruction processes. The majority of studies presented support the biased reconstruction view. Nevertheless, memory impairment processes cannot be ruled out as an explanation of hindsight bias when certain conditions are met, such as an existing coherent knowledge structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-132
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Review of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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