Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Hindsight bias

On 12 June 2023, the British Psychological Society (BPS) published this article: Hindsight bias creates illusion of doomed relationships. We all know those unlikely couples. Their break-up confirms what we had “known-all-along”. Those who stay together remain an accident waiting to happen.

Recently, I visited a property that looked very appealing on paper, despite its price. I expected a “yes but” on sight. I had never expected that the outcome would be so different. It wasn’t even a “no unless“. I’m still confused what happened that day. There is still no explanation for my solid NO.

Hence, my question: is the hindsight bias for real?

Data and Information are never perfect. Often, it’s incomplete and sometimes incorrect. We fill those gaps with our assumptions (known unknowns) and expectations (unknown knowns). Together, data, information, assumptions and expectations qualify as what we call (our) knowledge.

With hindsight, many of the gaps in our knowledge can be closed. However, completeness will always remain a challenge because in due time new information will usually reveal itself. Hence, even hindsight is never perfect. It’s just a moment-in-time-photograph.

In my view, the hindsight bias equals the correctness of our assumptions (known unknowns) and expectations (unknown knowns). Hence, there is no knew-it-all-along phenomenon in the Data-Info-Knowledge-Wisdom (DIKW) model. It’s just our relief over our assumptions and/or expectations.

The only thing that I do know is that the source for my NO is related to my instinct and/or intuition. Hence, an unknown known. It explains both: not knowing and the solid NO.

“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.”

A quote from the first Hercule Poirot detective novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) by Agatha Christie (1890-1976)

Solid (1984) by Ashford & Simpson
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-artists, Wiki-song

And now it’s solid
Solid as a rock

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise


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