Previous research has supported the counterintuitive idea that counterfactual thinking (thoughts of what might have been) may increase rather than decrease the hindsight bias (post hoc certainty regarding a factual outcome) and that this effect is mediated by shifts in causal perceptions. Unlike previous research, which has been limited to simple laboratory demonstrations, the present studies assessed highly involved sports fans' perceptions before and after home football games. Participants induced to generate counterfactual thoughts after the game showed a greater hindsight bias than control participants. Participants induced to generate causal explanations evinced a similar exacerbation of the hindsight bias, supporting previous claims that the positive effect of counterfactual thinking on the hindsight bias is mediated by explanations that satisfyingly account for the outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology