Hindsight bias in reflective practice: an empirical investigation*


  • Peter Reece Jones RGN RHV

    1. Senior Lecturer, School of Advanced Nursing and Social Work, North East Wales Institute, Plas Coch, Mold Road, Wrexham, Clwyd LL11 2AW, Wales
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  • *

    Based on a paper presented at the International Masters in Nursing Conference, held in Cardiff, Wales, on 29-31 October 1993s


Reflection is seen as a central component in the education and practice of nurses It is through critical reflection on one's practice that expertise can be assured This faith in the process of reflection has influenced much of pre and post registration nurse education It is only in the past few years that reflection as a technique has being criticized A small-scale study investigating the phenomenon of hindsight bias and its consequence on the reflective process is described The effects of the hindsight bias is to influence people's recollection of events once they know the final outcome The present study does indicate that nurses are susceptible to such a bias, which would question the validity of reflection as a way to enhance patient care There is an urgent need to clarify the reflective process and then to examine its effect on patient outcomes