The Good Old Days Bias


I’m sure we’ve all heard someone talk about how things used to be better “back in my day.” Recalling the past as rosy is referred to as the “good old days bias.” A recent study examined whether patients had the same bias when remembering their pre-concussion health.

Researchers asked teenagers and parents of younger children who were concussed to report the patient’s pre-injury neurological symptoms (including: headaches, nausea, trouble falling asleep, etc.). Researchers then followed up one month and three months after the injury and asked again for the patient’s pre-injury symptoms. One month after the injury, two-thirds of parents reported that their children had at least one neurological symptom prior to their concussion. By three months, only one-quarter of parents reported that their children had any neurological symptoms. Teenager's recollection of pre-injury complaints also declined.

In short, the study demonstrated that patients and caregivers tend to downplay pre-injury symptoms and recall the patient as healthier than they actually were. So, whether you’re deciding to take a claim, looking for ways to defend a claim, or treating a patient, the good old days bias is something that warrants some consideration.

Here’s a link to a summary of the article:

And here’s a link to a classic rock station, because back in the day, music used to be better: