“People court failure in predictable ways.”

Dietrich Dorner, psychology professor at Universitat Bamberg, discussed this observation in ”The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations.” This courtship often takes the form of acting before thinking, failing to anticipate, jumping to reactions or proceeding without questioning assumptions. Many of these failure-inducing habits derive from what psychologists refer to as “normalcy bias.” Normalcy bias is the human mind’s tendency to expect things to continue to occur in the future as they typically have in the past—i.e., to assume matters will proceed “normally.” This bias may lead people to underestimate both the likelihood of a crisis occurring, and how bad the disaster may be when it does. Research suggests approximately 70% of people succumb to this bias during a crisis situation.

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