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Choice-supportive bias

In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias is a tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected.

For example, researchers have used written scenarios in which participants are asked to make a choice between two options.

Later, on a memory test, participants are given a list of positive and negative features, some of which were in the scenario and some of which are new. A choice-supportive bias is seen when both correct and incorrect attributions tend to favor the chosen option, with positive features more likely to be attributed to the chosen option and negative features to the rejected option.

Older adults are more likely than younger adults to show choice-supportive biases, which may be related to older adults' greater tendency to show a positivity effect in memory.

See also

  • Choice
  • Decision making
  • List of cognitive biases
  • List of memory biases
  • Wishful thinking


  • Mather, M., & Johnson, M. K. (2000). Choice-supportive source monitoring: Do our decisions seem better to us as we age? Psychology and Aging, 15, 596-606. PDF
  • Mather, M., Shafir, E., & Johnson, M. K. (2000). Misrememberance of options past: Source monitoring and choice. Psychological Science, 11, 132-138. PDF
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Choice-supportive_bias". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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