Bias – Hindsight bias

The bias project – a reason to believe

I often wondered why artists always die at the right time. It can be at the peak of their career or it can be long after, but it’s always the right time according to the biography. The reason for this is that the biographer needed the right ending for his book.

People do not like chaos. If something happens, there must be a reason. So people have become quite good at explaining things, even if it means we have to redefine what happened. We don’t exactly lie about it, we just keep the bits that fit, like a great biographer would do for his story.

This talent for storymaking is called ‘hindsight bias’. According to Wikipedia:

‘The inclination to see past events as being more predictable than they actually were; also called the ‘I-knew-it-all-along’ effect.’

The UX part

We’re good at filtering and explaining the past. Learning from it is a bit harder, but it is possible. But even if we learn, we still can not predict the future. Professionals don’t rely just on their expertise, they test their designs so they can explain afterwards what they didn’t see coming.