When Safety Proves Dangerous - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

When Safety Proves Dangerous

https://fs.blog/2020/05/safety-proves-dangerous/

fs.blog

When Safety Proves Dangerous
Not everything we do with the aim of making ourselves safer has that effect. Sometimes, knowing there are measures in place to protect us from harm can lead us to take greater risks and cancel out the benefits. This is known as risk compensation. Understanding how it affects our behavior can help us make the best possible decisions in an uncertain world.

6

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Risk Compensation

Risk Compensation

Risk protection is normally done to minimize the harm a particular activity can do to us. There are various things we do to reduce our risk, to make ourselves safer.

Behaviour scientists po...

133 SAVES


VIEW

Risk Compensation Effects

  • When automobile safety laws were introduced, the drivers started taking more risks while driving, leading to more pedestrian accidents.
  • Children (and even adults) take more physica...

112 SAVES


VIEW

The Carelessness Effect

Having a safety device in place, and armed with the knowledge that we can push the envelope a bit, the appetite for risk increases.

  • People who have an emergency fund...

121 SAVES


VIEW

Risk Homeostasis

This means that enforcing measures that supposedly make people safer, will lead to changes in behaviour almost like a reflex action, compensating for the extra safety and to maintain the ‘desired’ ...

127 SAVES


VIEW

Risk Transfer

If something has been made safer (like fitting sports bikes with disk brakes) then it does not mean the risk has been eliminated, as it may just put a different group of people (like pedestrian...

126 SAVES


VIEW

Lessons From Risk Compensation

  • Safety measures need to be invisible, and not marketed or glorified.
  • Prudent behaviour needs to be rewarded, giving people an incentive to stay within limits.
  • Taking an a...

137 SAVES


VIEW

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Observer Effect

The Observer Effect

Most people overlook the effect that people have when someone is observing them. There is a difference in the behaviour of people, animals and atoms when they are being observed.

Though it is not a universal effect, observing living things does change them, and in the case of atoms, it can result in unpredictable behaviour.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov

"“I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers.”"

The Observer Effect In Science

Apart from people, the observer effect is famously highlighted in the thought experiment of the physician Erwin Schrödinger.

He states that if a cat is placed in a box of radioactive atoms that may or may not kill it in one hour, the cat is in the state of limbo until someone observes it by opening the box. The final outcome does not happen until someone observes it.

5 more ideas

When technology bites back

When technology bites back

In many ways, technology improves and enriches our lives. Yet, there is a sense that we have lost control of our technology in some ways and end up victims of its unintended consequences.

Author Edward Tenner coined the term "revenge effects" to describe how technologies can solve one problem while creating other worse problems, new types of issues, or shifting the harm elsewhere. In other words, technology bites back.

Considering the bigger system when introducing new technology

When we introduce a new piece of technology, it is wise to consider if we are interfering with a bigger system. If we do, we should reflect on it's wider consequences.

But, if the factors involved get complex enough, we cannot anticipate them with accuracy. Understanding revenge effects is mostly a reminder of the value of caution and not of specific risks.

Types of revenge effects

  • Repeating effects: This occurs when more efficient processes end up making us do the same things more often. Better appliances have led to higher standards of cleanliness, tempting people to spend the same amount of time on housework.
  • Recomplicating effects: As technology improve, the processes become more complex. A lighting system that needs to be operated through an app, making it difficult for a visitor just to flip a switch.
  • Regenerating effects: Attempts to solve a problem end up creating additional risks. Pesticides can create superbugs that are resistant to harm.
  • Rearranging effects: When costs are transferred elsewhere, so risks shift and worsen. Vacuum cleaners can blow dust mite pellets into the air, making it easier to breathe in.

Byproducts of Crises

Byproducts of Crises

During war times, the common man is least prepared for dealing with the drastic change of circumstances, displacement, loss of life of the self and loved ones, along with injury, loss of property and mental trauma.

Social and financial distress, loss of morale, and death of innocents are the byproducts of war, the effects of which are felt on the common man for decades.

Benefits Of A Crisis

During the peak of World War II, where it was expected that the citizens would go through hell, the opposite happened. People turned out to be more resilient, driven and motivated during the war.

The looming threat of being dead at any time turned out to be beneficial for the mental conditions and toughness for the individuals. Suicides lessened, and social unity and community bonding increased manifold.

At Home With Adversity

  • We, as human beings are naturally adaptive to a disaster or crisis, and bad times are improving our morale and strengthening our community spirit.
  • Groups of people collaborating, caring for and working with each other, hand in hand, are the ones who are most likely to live through any crisis.
  • The necessary conditions that we need to flourish as individuals and as a species, ironically, emerge during bad times.