3 Simple Steps To Help You Overcome Outcome Bias

How shifting your focus to your decision-making can reduce its impact

Darren Matthews
5 min readOct 31, 2023
Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

We all curse a bad result.

And then we excuse it; “It was just a bad decision.”

We do the same when the outcome is one we want. We excel at rewarding — or punishing our ego, not for the choice we make, but for the outcome we end up with.

Why do we do this?

When we make a decision, we have control.

Outcomes though, are different. They are prone to influences you don’t have control over. Other people’s choices, and entropy — along with all the randomness and uncertainty it generates create outcomes we don’t always want.

To make ourselves comfortable with what we can’t control — and what we can, we gloss over it. Or rather a cognitive bias called outcome bias does. It’s an attempt to airbrush history into one where we deny the reality of what we don’t control.

Unfortunately, this ‘airbrushing’ also denies us an objective assessment of something we do control.

Our decisions.

Knowing this creates a problem. How do we ensure we are making good decisions, and not let outcome bias blind us?



Darren Matthews

Following my curiosity — which is decision-making — and sharing what I learn along the way