Hindsight bias in political elections

Hartmut Blank, V. Fischer, Edgar Erdfelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two studies on political hindsight bias were conducted on the occasions of the German parliament election in 1998 and the Nordrhein-Westfalen state parliament election in 2000. In both studies, participants predicted the percentage of votes for several political parties and recalled these predictions after the election. The observed hindsight effects were stronger than those found in any prior study on political elections (using percentage of votes as the dependent variable). We argue that the length of the retention interval between original judgement and recollection is mainly responsible for this difference. In our second study, we investigated possible artifacts in political hindsight biases using a control-group design where half of the participants recalled their predictions shortly before or after the election. Hindsight bias was preserved, reinforcing the results of earlier studies with non-control-group designs. Finally, we discuss the possibility that the hindsight experience (in political judgement and in general) actually consists of three different, partly independent components.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-504
Number of pages14
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Hindsight bias in political elections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this