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«Es musste eigentlich so kommen»: Rückschaufehler bei der Bundestagswahl 1998 = "It had to turn out that way“: Hindsight bias in the German parliamentary elections in 1998

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Three months before the German parliamentary elections in 1998, University of Leipzig psychology undergraduates predicted the percentage of votes for various parties and also the winning coalition. Remembered predictions one month after the elections were systematically biased towards the actual outcome. Additionally, knowledge about the election outcome was biased in the direction of the original judgments. On the group level, remembered predictions of the winning coalition exhibited clear tendencies towards simplification and polarization. A comparison with existing studies of the hindsight bias in political elections, using a common index, revealed the largest effect to date for our own study. Specific cognitive and motivational processes at work in political hindsight biases as well as a possible dissociation of different components of a «hindsight syndrome» are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-142
Number of pages15
JournalZeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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