Debiasing Media Articles - Reducing Hindsight Bias in the Production of Written Work

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Description: Written work such as Wikipedia articles can contain hindsight bias. Since reading biased texts can, in turn, increase recipients’ individual hindsight bias, it is an important agenda to examine effective debiasing strategies. In the present study (N = 164), we tested whether providing authors with debiasing strategies can effectively reduce hindsight bias in their content. Specifically, participants wrote an article based on several newspaper articles about a dam and we manipulated whether they received event knowledge (i.e., dam collapse) and a debiasing intervention. Ten blind coders rated the extent to which the produced articles were suggestive of the disaster. Debiasing was successful in reducing both author and article hindsight bias when provided before writing. However, it had no effect when applied to encourage a revision process after writing. We thus argue that implementing pre-writing debiasing in the field may be an important multiplier for the reduction of collective hindsight bias.

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