Debiasing the hindsight bias: The role of accessibility experiences and (mis)attributions

Two studies tested the role of accessibility experiences and attributions in debiasing the hindsight bias. Participants listed 4 or 12 thoughts about how a college football game, or the 2000 US Presidential election, might have turned out differently. Listing 12 thoughts was experienced as difficult, suggesting to participants that there were few ways in which the event could have turned out otherwise. Hindsight biases increased under this condition, unless participants attributed the difficulty of the thought generation to their own lack of knowledge, which resulted in a trend in the opposite direction. The interplay of accessible content, accessibility experiences and attribution in mental simulation is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)