Hindsight bias in judgments of others’ performance on inattentional blindness tasks


The hindsight bias occurs when people judge the outcome of an event as more predictable after the event has already happened. Participants (N = 45) completed two inattentional blindness tasks, in which an unexpected object appeared while participants performed a primary task. Participants were asked if they noticed the unexpected object. They were then shown the unexpected object and asked how many people (out of 100) they thought would be able to see it. For both tasks, those who saw the objects (Task 1: n = 5; Task 2: n = 19) judged that more people would see it (overall: M = 39.8, SD = 23.0) than those who did not (overall: M = 17.1, SD = 14.6). This finding is consistent with a hindsight bias: those who experienced seeing the object thought that others would see it, while those who did not, thought others would not.

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