What is Recency Bias?

What is Recency Bias?

Recency bias represents the tendency of individuals to remember information that they have analyzed. While considering recent information can provide short-term results, it may neglect long-term effects. However, some people tend to allocate too much reliance to recent occurrences, which may cost them in the long run. Therefore, individuals’ tendency to place an overemphasis on new information incorporates recency bias.

Another name for the recency bias is the recency effect. This bias is prevalent in almost any field that involves making decisions based on historical information. It is human nature to remember and recall the most recent information and forget historical info. Hence, recency bias is an influence that occurs naturally. Recency bias also explains how individuals’ memory works.

How does Recency Bias work?

As mentioned, recency bias depends on human memory, specifically short-term memory. This memory represents an individual’s ability to hold a small amount of information for a brief period of time. However, there is a limited amount of data that it can store and a limited period for which it can do so. The more individuals delay recalling the information, the more of it they will forget.

Recency bias works on the same principle. Individuals tend to remember information that they have most recently experienced. It is because that information has stayed in their memory due to being fresh. Any other relevant information may have already left their memory due to its limited capacity. On top of that, any information they have come across several times will stay in their memory for longer.

In short, recency bias occurs when individuals remember any information that they have recently encountered. The more they stay away from it, the more they will tend to forget. In that case, they will be more prone to recency bias than before. However, the recency bias for each individual may differ due to their memory capacity.

What are the factors that influence Recency Bias?

There are several factors that contribute to how much recency bias individuals face. Usually, the type of information and its purpose play a critical role in recency bias. The more complicated the process is, the more likely it is for individuals to forget information. Therefore, the more risk of coming under the influence of recency bias is.

The method the individuals use to process information also plays a role in determining the recency bias involved. Another factor that plays a significant role in recency bias is the time period for which individuals retain information. The longer this time period is, the higher their tendency is to forget information and higher recency bias.

Lastly, for multitasking individuals, the recency bias may be at its highest. It is usually because these people tend to process information from multiple sources at once. Due to this, they are likely to retain a small amount of information from each source. Therefore, the recency bias for them will be higher. All of these factors depend on each individual and how their memory works.


Recency bias is when individuals tend to prefer recent information and disregard long-term info. In most cases, recency bias occurs due to individuals’ capacity to hold information. The longer the period for which individuals must retain information is, the higher the chances of recency bias transpiring are. On top of that, several other factors may contribute to the level of recency bias.

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