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Logo of qualsafetyQuality and Safety in Health CareCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
 
Qual Saf Health Care. 2003 August; 12(4): 304–312.
PMCID: PMC1743746

Hindsight ≠ foresight: the effect of outcome knowledge on judgment under uncertainty*

Abstract



One major difference between historical and nonhistorical judgment is that the historical judge typically knows how things turned out. In Experiment 1, receipt of such outcome knowledge was found to increase the postdicted likelihood of reported events and change the perceived relevance of event descriptive data, regardless of the likelihood of the outcome and the truth of the report. Judges were, however, largely unaware of the effect that outcome knowledge had on their perceptions. As a result, they overestimated what they would have known without outcome knowledge (Experiment 2), as well as what others (Experiment 3) actually did know without outcome knowledge. It is argued that this lack of awareness can seriously restrict one's ability to judge or learn from the past.


Articles from Quality & Safety in Health Care are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group