The Normalcy Bias/Analysis Paralysis

Created on Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:33

In a previous article I stated that the ignorance and denial with regard to the true state of the US economy (click here for the US economy special) and the inevitable collapse of the US dollar never cease to amaze me. People simply don't understand that they will never -as in NOT EVER- get the straight story from the mainstream media.

Logic alone will tell you that countries and individuals cannot borrow their way out of debt.

I thought it would be a good idea to elaborate on the above mentioned denial by summarizing three articles about a condition called ‘The Normalcy Bias’ or 'Analysis Paralysis'.

The denial that I mentioned earlier can be ascribed to this condition and is well known to psychologists and sociologists. It refers to a mental state that individuals enter into when facing a disaster or pending danger.

Normalcy Bias leads people to underestimate and minimize both the possibility of a catastrophe actually happening, as well as it’s possible consequences to their health and safety. It often results in situations where people fail to prepare for a likely and impending disaster. The condition leads people to believe that since something has never happened before, it will never happen. It also leads people to underestimate warning signs and to inaccurately reframe information in order to project an optimistic outcome.

In short, it's kind of a ‘reality-killing drug'. Like an infant with a security blanket people have a tendency to cling to their habitual, repetitive and 'normal' way of life despite overwhelming proof that serious danger lies ahead. Just as people in Pompeii watched for hours as the volcano erupted without evacuation many people do not react until it is too late.

The Nazi Holocaust provides the best example of Normalcy Bias in a way that is most applicable to what is beginning to happen in America. The Normalcy Bias explains why so many Jews ignored and underestimated the omnipresent signs of danger, even after they were forced to wear identifying yellow stars, possess a J stamp Identification Card and discriminatory laws were passed which targeted the Jews and their businesses, of which many were destroyed in The Night of the Broken Glass. Many of the Jews who could have afforded to move out of the country stayed and were subsequently exterminated because they mistakenly thought ‘that things wouldn’t get much worse’.

If you don’t suffer from Normalcy Bias it should be clear by now that Normalcy Bias can have severe consequences. When people don’t face the facts of an imminent disaster such as a financial crisis or loss of liberty and fail to protect themselves, their loved ones or their assets from danger that might be developing around them, the negative effect that the disaster has on them is much greater.

People who face the situation early and start taking measures to alleviate the impact that the disaster has are more likely to survive it.

Normalcy Bias can be beat with the following approach to dealing with an emergency or unforeseen event. 

1.    Face the facts.
2.    Sit and make a plan for a few scenarios that you think could take place.
3.    Check through possible options for dealing with the emergency/disaster.
4.    Choose the best option and take action immediately.

You may never have to use any of these plans but, should you have to, it’s better to be able to act without having to think. Better to be able to take the information you prepared and be ready to go within the shortest amount of time possible, instead of walking in circles making phone calls.

Knowledge is power. It is my hope is that you will use this information to educate and empower yourself, so that you and your loved ones are protected should the worst case scenario indeed occur.