Citation:
Roese, N. J., & Maniar, S. D. (in press). Perceptions of purple: Counterfactual and hindsight judgments at Northwestern Wildcats football games. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin .

Abstract:
Previous research has supported the counterintuitive idea that counterfactual thinking (thoughts of what might have been) increase rather than decrease the hindsight bias (post hoc certainty regarding a factual outcome), and that this effect is mediated by shifts in causal perceptions. Unlike previous research, which has been limited to simple role-playing demonstrations, the present studies assessed highly involved sports fans' perceptions before and after home football games. Participants induced to generate counterfactual thoughts after the game showed a greater hindsight bias than control participants. Participants induced to generate causal explanations evinced a similar exacerbation of the hindsight bias, supporting previous claims that the positive effect of counterfactual thinking on the hindsight bias is mediated by explanations that satisfyingly account for the outcome.