Making sense of failure: A motivated model of hindsight bias.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Mark Pezzo

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2007

Date Available

July 2011


Can we learn from our mistakes? Does the large body of research demonstrating hindsight bias indicate that people are not likely to take responsibility for their errors and thus deprive themselves of the opportunity to learn to avoid such errors in the future? This examines two somewhat contradictory theories of hindsight bias, defensive processing and retroactive pessimism, and proposes a "motivated sense-making" model as a possible similar common pathway for the two processes. Specific attention is given to the implications of each process with regard to learning from one's mistakes.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Social Cognition, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 147-164 (2007). Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




Guilford Press

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.