Evaluating scientific research: Belief, hindsight bias, ethics, and research evaluation
Students may exhibit two forms of cognitive biases, belief and hindsight bias, in evaluating a scientific experiment. Counter to disagreement, they may only believe an outcome that agrees with their belief to be more predictable in hindsight than foresight. The focus of this research is on the relationship between these biases. Students were queried about their dichotomous beliefs (learned vs. genetic) about behavior for an animal experiment and then assigned randomly to a no-outcome or genetic outcome condition. With agreement between students' belief and outcome, the findings revealed hindsight bias (foreseeability) supported by the outcomes for surprise, disappointment, ethics, and research evaluation. With disagreement, hindsight bias was trumped along with perceiving the experiment as being less ethical and scientifically sound. Regardless of the outcome, students seem to adhere to their beliefs. Hence, students may believe that the outcome is inconsequential because it is obvious or contrary to their beliefs.
Ethics, hindsight bias, prior beliefs, research evaluation, teaching instruction
Hom Jr, Harry L., and Abigail L. Van Nuland. "Evaluating scientific research: Belief, hindsight bias, ethics, and research evaluation." Applied Cognitive Psychology 33, no. 4 (2019): 675-681.
Applied Cognitive Psychology