Hindsight Bias

From “20 Myths about Religion and Politics in America” by Ryan P. Burge

One of the most revelatory things I learned in reading social science a a graduate student is the sheer number of cognitive biases each of us holds and how many of them we fall prey to without knowing it. An example is hindsight bias – our tendency to look on events from the past and perceive them in such a way that leads us to constantly say to ourselves, “We should have seen this coming.” Often people do this at the end of a failed romantic relationship or after putting up with months or years of a poor work environment. We often see the warning signs in hindsight, when in actuality we could never have assumed that this is where things would end up. The result often makes us feel like we are inadequate and unable to make good decisions. The reality is that we are just too hard on ourselves.