Monday, April 19, 2010

Memory and Hindsight Bias

This article talks about hindsight bias. Two studies were done to prove that reconstructive memory is a big part of the hindsight bias. People read the same story but with different endings. One had no ending and one ended with a rape. The people that read the story with the rape ending changed the story to be more stereotypically related with rape than the others. For both stories, the participants changed the way the story ended by using stereotypes. The people that read the rape ending said they saw it coming when the people that read the one with no ending didn't. When you read a story already knowing the ending, you look at and judge the characters differently than if you didn't know the ending. A good example of the hindsight bias this study is talking about is about a movie I watched. I watched a movie knowing that the story was about this woman that marries a man that abuses her children. At the beginning of the movie, she marries a man that seemed nice, but I immediately judged him and kept looking for reasons not to like him, waiting for him to change. He ended up dying early in the movie and was not the abusive stepfather. When I watched it the second time around, I looked at the character completely different. If I knew nothing about the movie, I never would have judged him in the first place. Hindsight bias came be apart of any story or scenario. You stereotypically and judge a character or person by their actions when recalling the story or scenario.

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