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Why we find it difficult to recognise a crisis

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https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200409-why-we-find-it-difficult-to-recognise-a-crisis

bbc.com

Why we find it difficult to recognise a crisis
The current pandemic has affected some countries more than others, partly because they have been slow to react to the crisis. That, it turns out, is a very human response.

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Missing the signs

Missing the signs

There are many known psychological processes that cause individuals and organizations to miss the signs of a coming crisis – even when the signs are noticeable.

One reason is known as the...

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Optimism bias

One possible reason for the "optimism bias" is found in the way we learn new information. People are quicker to change their beliefs when the information is better than expected, compared to inform...

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Outcomes bias

Outcomes bias it thinking that because things turned out reasonably good, we can underestimate how close they came to going wrong.

In the past 20 years, there have been...

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Confirmation bias

Even if people are given clear evidence that a crisis is unfolding, they may deny the reality of it. 

If people want to believe something, they may only look for evidence to support that...

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Groupthink

Groupthink

In uncertain conditions, we look to each other for guidance, even if the people are not the best guides. People are tending to do what they see is the social norm. It may explain panic buying.

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Functional stupidity

Organizations often hire smart and talented people, but then create cultures and decision-making processes that do not encourage them to raise concerns or make suggestions. 

Everyone ...

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The best-prepared organizations

Five characteristics of the best-prepared “high-reliability” organizations:

  • They are preoccupied with failure. They think a lot about the ways they could miss their mark....

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Panic Buying

Panic Buying

The world is seeing panic buying in supermarkets, with items like toilet paper, milk, soda, hand sanitizers, etc. flying off the shelves, especially in places with confirmed cases of the virus.

...

Downsides of Panic Buying

  • Panic buying makes people feel in charge of the situation, while seemingly mundane measures like hand-washing, which are actually impactful, seem ordinary.
  • The problem comes when people overbuy in their over-panicked state of mind (irrational stockpiling), making the shortages worse than they really are.
  • Speculators also take advantage of panic buying and raise prices of essential items like face masks, forcing companies to take appropriate measures.

Loss Aversion

..is a principle which makes people do things so that they don't feel regretful later. 

People are panic-buying for the same reason too, with social media and news media amplifying the sense of scarcity.

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Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories

In the earlier times, conspiracy theories were a convenient way to cover up the inadequacies of the government, and putting a set of helpless people as a scapegoat, cloaking the misdeeds or mismana...

We Love A Good Story

The organic and unpredictable nature of conspiracy theories had led many researchers to investigate the cause of the phenomenon.

  • Successful conspiracy theories always tend to invent a great villain, have a backdrop or a backstory, and a morality lesson that can be easily understood by most.
  • Great stories are by nature more magnetic and appealing than the truth.
  • Human beings think and understand in stories. For thousands of years, fairy tales, legends, anecdotes and mysteries have helped our brains make sense of the world.

Collective Hysteria

Every society has its own, unique anxieties and obsessions, and the conspiracy theories that gain good mileage are the ones that tap into these primal fears.

Example: Many people fear vaccination of the children due to fears that the mass drive to vaccinate such a large population has some ulterior motive, like a mass medical experiment. The dodgy past record of the health care system, and the fact that the vaccination is free of charge, of course, adds fuel to the fire.

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The Common Cold

With over 200 different kinds of viruses that make up the common cold, Science is struggling to find a cure.

Adults suffer this elusive, widespread, and infectious disease 2 to 4 times...

The 7 Identified Virus Families

Scientists to date have identified seven virus families that cause the majority of colds:

  • rhinovirus
  • the new 2019
  • influenza
  • parainfluenza
  • adenovirus
  • respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • metapneumovirus.

Vaccines vs Drugs

For Doctors, vaccines are preferable to drugs as they protect the host even before any infection.

For Pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma), vaccines don't spell money, as much as over-the-counter drugs and treatment do.

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