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Hindsight bias: Impaired memory or biased reconstruction?


  • Stahlberg, Dagmar

    () (Lehrstuhl fuer Sozialpsychologie, Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Maass, A.

    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)


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 whether hindsight distiortions represent the result 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stahlberg, Dagmar & Maass, A., 1996. "Hindsight bias: Impaired memory or biased reconstruction?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 97-27, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:97-27 Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nielsen, Lars Tyge, 1992. " Positive Prices in CAPM," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 791-808, June.
    2. J. Tobin, 1958. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 65-86.
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