Denying the foreseeability of an event as a means of self-protection. The Impact of Self-Threatening Outcome Information on the Strength of the Hindsight Bias

Schwarz, Stefan; Stahlberg, Dagmar; Sczesny, Sabine (2002). Denying the foreseeability of an event as a means of self-protection. The Impact of Self-Threatening Outcome Information on the Strength of the Hindsight Bias (Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-37). Mannheim: Universität Mannheim

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The hindsight bias represents the tendency of people to falsely believe that they would have predicted the outcome of an event, once the outcome is known. Two experiments will be presented that show a reduction or even reversal of the hindsight bias when the outcome information is self-threatening for the participants. Participants read a report of an interaction between a man and a woman that ended with different outcomes: The woman was raped vs. the woman was not raped vs. no outcome information was given. Results of the first experiment indicated that especially female participants, who did not accept rape myths, showed a reversed hindsight bias, when they received the rape outcome information. The more threatening the rape outcome had been, the lower was their estimated likelihood of rape. Results of the second experiment confirmed those of the first. Female participants, who did not accept rape myths and perceived themselves highly similar to the victim, showed a strong reversed hindsight bias, when threatened by the rape outcome, whereas female participants, who did believe in rape myth and were not similar to the victim, showed a classical hindsight bias. These effects were interpreted in terms of self-serving or in-group serving functions of the hindsight bias: Participants deny the foreseeability of a self-threatening outcome as a means of self-protection even if they are not personally affected by the negative information, but a member of their group.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience

UniBE Contributor:

Sczesny, Sabine

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

Series:

Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications

Publisher:

Universität Mannheim

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sabine Sczesny

Date Deposited:

09 Feb 2016 14:58

Last Modified:

09 Feb 2016 14:58

Additional Information:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Sonderforschungsbereich 504: Rationalitätskonzepte, Entscheidungsverhalten und ökonomische Modellierung

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75322

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