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July 15, 2018

Eliminate Hindsight Bias

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You can avoid falling victim to the hindsight bias by practicing objectivity. Our brain is flooded by stimuli throughout the day, and it is impossible to remember everything. For that reason, our brains choose to fixate on certain things in particular that seem like they are worth remembering and everything else is purged. This is why it seems like something always happens, because the times it doesn’t happen aren’t encoded into long-term memory.  

Now how does this change our lives?  Well, the things we choose to remember are often negative and our mood and focus change as a result. With more distractions, we can’t get as much done. The fix is to take a moment to step away from an aggravating situation and look at it objectively. "Do I actually always miss this light?"  "Does he actually take long lunches?"  In some cases, sure, your feelings are justified, but very often you realize that your assumption is pretty flawed. Don’t let those negative emotions get you when they shouldn’t.

So, the next time you are annoyed about something that just doesn’t seem to be going your way, take a moment to reflect and see if that’s actually the way it is.  

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