You are here

hindsight bias

Superbowl Psychology

Image of American football player outstretched in the air catching the football

By Amy Summervile

Though you may not know it, when you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday—especially if you actually watch the game and not just the commercials— you’ll likely be engaging in a lot of what psychological scientists call counterfactual thinking: thoughts about “what might have been,” “at least,” and “if only.”

Research on counterfactual thought explains all kinds of surprising reactions to sporting events, and a couple of ways in which your judgment about the big game may not be as clear as you think.