Weekend Challenge: Fight Your (Normalcy) Bias

And when we say “bias,” we are not referring to any social, political, or class-based biases.  We are talking about something very specific: the normalcy bias.  The Normalcy Bias is the condition that the normal human brain defaults to when faced with unprecedented, even dangerous, situations.  There is a tendency in humans to assume that “since it has never happened before, it won’t happen now.” 

It is this mentality, perhaps, that is to blame for many tragedies throughout human history.  For instance, imagine these sentences from the 20th century:

:surely this boat is big enough and strong enough that that little chunk of ice out there poses no real threat

:He can’t really mean it when he says he wants to exterminate the Jews

:That’s weird–all those planes with the zeros on them flying overhead on a Sunday morning

The Normalcy Bias slows down, or even freezes, the survival instinct, and situations that could be relatively easily sidestepped become extraordinarily dangerous.

But the ability to overcome the N.B. is a remarkably powerful tool.  For instance, did you know that there were (as a percentage of the population) more millionaires created during the Great Depression than at any other time in U.S.History?  We’ll explore this topic more in later posts;  for now, consider what it would take for you to get “outside the box” of your normalcy bias.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://getitblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/weekend-challenge-fight-your-normalcy-bias/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: