Evil Hindsight Bias

I am going to steal your thunder!

It’s 10:00 A.M. Coffee in. Meeting starting. Great! I am preparing to announce that one great find, the idea which will impact our business in numerous and glorious ways, minimum investment-maximum return, the panacea! You know the stuff.  I make my pitch, sweating, happy for all that hard work invested so…successfully. I blurt it out, yelling close to a cow. Waiting…waiting…Applause?!!! Nooo! In perfect sync and silence with my ending I hear someone passively say  “Yes, of course, that is evident”, “I already know it”… Awkward!

And then it happens again and again, different day, different subject, different person. What is going on, damn it???

Everyone knows at least one “I knew it all along”, “I told you so” person. One that manages to push your buttons time and again, always raining on your parade. Be it sunny, be it rain, they know that outcome/idea, but somehow they fail to communicate it or take action before another. Weird.
No, they are not trying to look good on your expense, they are not bad. Believe me, they do not know what they are doing! It is called a hindsight bias. They truly believe that they knew it all along!
I became aware of this bias during my trading days on the stock market and realized that it’s effects apply to all human activities. It is a brain glitch. You can see it manifest in everyone around you, in different degrees, irritating as..hell. The best thing to do in this situations is tell them what is going on.

Hindsight bias appears when a situation has already fallen into place.
Watch Captain Hindsight

When previously the outcome was still uncertain, the individual had great difficulties in forecasting the results. However, when the outcome has already been established most people tend to think that they calculated/knew the results all along, when in fact they did not. Same with ideas, when they hear a great one they automatically reply “Exactly, that was what I was going to say”. Do the right thing and tell them about hindsight bias, it will change their lives.

Now you know.