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Sebastian_Hagen comments on Hindsight bias - Less Wrong

53 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 August 2007 09:58PM

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Comment author: Sebastian_Hagen 07 December 2009 08:52:46PM *  3 points [-]

Fischhoff and Beyth (1975) presented students with historical accounts of unfamiliar incidents, such as a conflict between the Gurkhas and the British in 1814.


Fischhoff, B., and Beyth, R. 1975. I knew it would happen: Remembered probabilities of once-future things. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 13: 1-16.

I originally came across the same citation in Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks. It refers to this paper, correct? Title, authors, publication and date appear to match.

I've looked at that PDF, and I don't see where the paper talks about an experiment with questions regarding a British-Gurkha conflict. The PDF is searchable. There's no full-text search matches for "Gurkha" or "British". "students" yields matches on exactly one page, and that's about an experiment using a different set of questions. I haven't read the entire thing in any depth, so I may have missed a description of the British/Gurkha study. If so, where in the paper is it?

Comment author: Blueberry 07 December 2009 10:43:05PM 0 points [-]

This looks like it might be helpful: http://sds.hss.cmu.edu/media/pdfs/fischhoff/HindsightEarlyHistory.pdf

Looks like that particular experiment was discussed in a different paper.

Comment author: ciphergoth 04 March 2010 01:36:06PM 2 points [-]

Hindsight ≠ foresight: the effect of outcome knowledge on judgment under uncertainty

B Fischhoff

Correspondence to:
 B Fischhoff, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel


One major difference between historical and nonhistorical judgment is that the historical judge typically knows how things turned out. In Experiment 1, receipt of such outcome knowledge was found to increase the postdicted likelihood of reported events and change the perceived relevance of event descriptive data, regardless of the likelihood of the outcome and the truth of the report. Judges were, however, largely unaware of the effect that outcome knowledge had on their perceptions. As a result, they overestimated what they would have known without outcome knowledge (Experiment 2), as well as what others (Experiment 3) actually did know without outcome knowledge. It is argued that this lack of awareness can seriously restrict one’s ability to judge or learn from the past.