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Hindsight Bias, Visual Aids, and Legal Decision Making: Timing is Everything



Once individuals learn the outcomes of events, they tend to overestimate the ability with which they could have predicted the event (hindsight bias). We discuss the relation between processing fluency and hindsight bias in the context of visual animations designed to clarify complex events. Visual reconstructions, by increasing clarity while masking gaps or uncertainty in the underlying data, have been shown to increase hindsight bias in legal settings. More generally, any computer-generated visual may not only clarify data sets, but breed overconfidence. Further, by taking a broader view of judgments shift over time, a clearer portrait of hindsight bias may be achieved.