Lisa Son headshot


Professor of psychology Lisa Son has published new research in the journal New Ideas in Psychology. Titled Taking a Naïve Other’s Perspective to Debias the Hindsight Bias: Did it Backfire?, the article aims to debias “hindsight bias.” The term hindsight bias refers to how as we obtain new knowledge, we can no longer recall that we did not previously hold this knowledge.

Son’s study seeks to “debias the bias” by asking participants to imagine the states of naïve others. While the participants were able to recognize others' hindsight bias, the debiasing technique employed in the study appears to “backfire,” since the participants were unable to recall their own state of “not knowing.”

Not being able to see our own hindsight bias may prevent us from remembering the time, effort, and failures associated with learning, which could make new learning seem frustrating and slow. In this paper, Son and her co-authors argue that being unaware of the time and effort required for us to acquire and understand new information may, in some situations, result in giving up on new learning altogether.