Author Topic: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"  (Read 4343 times)

Offline swanson

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SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« on: January 29, 2009, 12:42:14 PM »
I came across this topic listening to the Glenn Beck show as he interviewed a gentlemen concerning survival and the composition survivors mentalities and personalities.

He mentioned the concept of the "normalcy bias" which I think is a crucial topic to review and add to the survival tool chest.

Here's a wiki review of the normalcy bias -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normalcy_bias

"The normalcy bias refers to an extreme mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate the both the possibility of a disaster occurring and also its possible effects...

Folks really do have a hard time coming to grips and when under the duress of a threatening situation they may be strongly influenced by objective fear perceptions during a crisis.

I believe that the Freeze part of the fight, flight, or freeze theory is shown further support by the concept of the "Normalcy Bias" presented here.

What do you think? Ever seen this bias in action?

swanson

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Michael Masse

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 01:17:27 PM »
Well I think you are right on.  That's perhaps why people jumped from building when the stock market crashed during the great depression.  It so caught them off guard that they could not deal with the reality of lossing some of their stuff.


John Q Public

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 07:07:39 AM »
Swanson,

This is a another great post on your part. +1.

I not only believe that this exists, I know it does and have seen it in action on a couple of occasions.

IMHO, the only way to prepare to deal with it is through the repeated playing through of a given scenario. Preferably, a scenario in which you outline a threat, talk through the possible actions to be taken and then practice the actions in a controlled manner. Afterwards, running a full blown drill would reinforce what you have already determined to be the best course of action. Understanding the threats you face and then practicing your actions in light of that threat will help build "muscle memory" and calm fears/tension in the event of a true emergency.

As Cliint Smith says: "When faced with a challenge, we will do what we do in practice, only not as good." (Or something to that effect.)  ;)

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 08:02:36 AM »
Yup, I see it everytime I explain preparations to people. Whenever I warn people about things like weather (which doesn't mean I tell them I am a prepper or survivalist) and how to prepare for it. Or warning about the economic crisis and how it would be well advised for them to start growing their own food. I am met with this same response. I think it is a response that the government actually encourages, because it enhances reliance on them, and allows them to increase bigger government.

I think what separates us from those whith this affliction is that we have the personal conviction of 'I will survive. No matter what happens I will survive this.' Most peole have no idea of the dangers out there to even have this conviction. Either that or they have seen the dangers and are scared out of their minds, and so they freeze up, and ignore it. Sometimes the freeze response does not allow you to survive. It might work for creatures in the wild, but amongst humans...it could be lethal.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 09:38:51 AM »
Swanson hits the nail on the head.  Again.

Normalcy bias is exactly what Mrs. Heavy G has.

Hey, Jack: How about a show on "normalcy bias."  It would be a great general topic to tie together lots of points.  And it would help those of us with spousal-convincing issues.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 11:15:51 AM »
Here is the transcript of the Glenn Beck interview with the survival guy who talks about normalcy bias:

http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/20811/

Here's an example of normalcy bias he describes: when a department store is on fire, people have actually still gone to the cash register to pay for things.  Whoa.

Offline swanson

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 11:27:30 AM »
Heavy G,

+1,

Thanks for posting the transcript link.

Here's the link to Ken Sherwood's book as well -

http://www.amazon.com/Survivors-Club-Secrets-Science-Could/dp/0446580244

I took a look at it on the shelves at Barnes and Noble and looks to be decent. I will pick a copy up soon.

swanson

Offline DarkEyes

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; BEWARE, THE "NORMALCY BIAS"
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 09:49:27 PM »
As far as playing a scenario through, the Jericho series has helped me alot with this.  The whole time I'm watching I am thinking about what they should have done or could have done better.