Rosy retrospection is a cognitive bias that causes people to remember past events as being more positive than they were in reality. For example, rosy retrospection could cause someone to remember their childhood years as being more joyful than they actually were. Rosy retrospection is very closely related to the concept of nostalgia. The difference between the terms is that rosy retrospection could be framed as a cognitive bias, whereas the broader phenomenon of nostalgia is described as an emotional longing or affection for something in the past.

This fallacy is offend described with the the idiom “rose-colored glasses”.

Intimately correlated with the rosy retrospection is Declinism: the belief that a certain entity, such as a country or a company, is declining, and is potentially headed toward a future collapse. For example, someone who displays declinism might believe that society as a whole is becoming worse and worse every day, even if by their own metrics the situation is actually improving.

Because rosy retrospection causes people to believe that the past was better than it actually was, it can cause the present and future to appear bad in comparison, which is why rosy retrospection can often lead to declinism.

Both rosy retrospection and declines are important to understand, since they can influence people in various ways.

It will follow a Brief History of “Nobody Wants to Work Anymore”, a popular adage in 2022.

(this material has been gathered by Paul Fairie on Twitter)

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