Definition of Recency Bias

What does the term "recency bias" mean? What is meant by the term "recency bias"?

"Recency bias" is the phenomenon of a person most easily remembering something that has happened recently, compared to remembering something that may have occurred a while back.

Definition of Recency Bias - DictionaryFor instance - if a person is asked to recall the names of 30 people that they have just met, they will usually remember the names of the people that they most recently met first.


Let's take another look at an example of "recency bias".

A fictional 24 hour sports network has a year-end special called the "Greatest Sports Plays of All Time". The show features the best ever plays from sports like football, baseball, basketball, etc. The show polls fans to develop a list of the best ever plays.

Each year, plays that occurred over the past year dominate the show. Did 70% of the greatest sports plays of all time really occur just over the past 12 months? Definitely not - this is an example of "recency bias", as we tend the best remember the events that have occurred most recently.

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