Participants read a vignette about a woman and man from a self (first-person) or other (third-person) perspective and predicted the likelihood of several outcomes. Later, they learned positive (marriage proposal), negative (rape), or no outcome information before recalling their original predictions and completing a memory questionnaire designed to investigate whether they misremembered details stereotypical of the outcome they learned. Perspective did not affect memory. Alternatively, outcome information did affect memory; however, only participants who learned negative outcome information exhibited hindsight bias, misremembering their initial likelihood ratings as being more consistent with the outcome than their original ratings actually were. Furthermore, performance on the vignette task did not correlate with performance on a standard paradigm for measuring hindsight bias. While taking another’s perspective rather than one’s own perspective may not make an outcome seem more or less predictable, learning negative outcome information likely makes an outcome seem more predictable in hindsight.
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Thesis advisor: Connolly, Deborah
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