We tend to remember our choices as better than they actually were

On remembering our choices as better than they actually were

Bush’s 8-year term saw the horrific events of September 11th and the controversial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that followed. Many Bush supporters still focus on the positives of his presidency as a justification for his actions, whilst opposing Democrats will argue their candidate, Gore, would have handled the situation better.

We can often ignore opposing evidence in favour of what we believe is correct (see: confirmation bias). Once we’ve made a decision based on the evidence considered, we don’t like looking like we made the wrong one. To help ensure this, we often over-attribute positive features to the options we’ve chosen and negative features to options not chosen, like political candidates. As a result, we feel good about ourselves and our choices, and have less regret for bad decisions. This makes changing incorrect beliefs an incredibly hard task.

Consumers desire for past choices to be rational and well-made (or at least seem to be) makes them more likely to overlook any faults in an effort to convince themselves and others that they made the right decision.

Excerpt from: Product Gems 1: 101 Science Experiments That Demonstrate How to Build Products People Love by David Greenwood

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