While an event’s outcome may seem inevitable, its prediction may not be as obvious as someone thinks.
For example, a student gleefully leaves the lecture hall with his latest exam score—and loudly proclaims that he knew he would ace the difficult test all along!
This phenomenon is an example of the hindsight bias—the tendency to believe that a particular outcome could have been predicted—only after the result was already determined, not in foresight.
In this case, through selective memory recall, the individual extracted certain details—and left out many others—to craft into a narrative that made sense, given his final grade. Because this process appeared relatively easy, he interpreted that his good marks were indeed foreseeable.
Ultimately, overconfident approaches could restrict learning and growth in future occasions if people don’t fully dissect their experiences.
Next time, maybe the well-intentioned student will not feel obliged to be right. Instead, he’ll think of alternative endings and why something really happened!