Denial Explained - the Normalcy Bias

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by fireplaceguy, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. fireplaceguy

    fireplaceguy Monkey+

    We've all had friends who refused to look at reality, but leave it to shrinks to come up with a nice clinical sounding name for it: The normalcy bias!

    (a.k.a. denial, the ostrich response, etc...)

    Normalcy bias is why most people can't face a large crisis. Large, as in a real-time economic collapse or peak oil. Here's a perfect little blurb on normalcy bias I found at THIS site:

    "Normalcy Bias: When Extreme Danger Leads to Denial

    The normalcy bias has severe consequences. When people don’t face the facts of an imminent disaster such as financial crisis, or act to protect 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 on their loved ones and their assets are more likely to survive the disaster and even, in some cases, benefit from it."

    This is (sadly) a very human response. I discussed this with a survivalist friend a few weeks ago and he had another interesting observation: There's a real tendency for extroverts to engage in normalcy bias, whereas introverts are more thoughtful and analytical and less likely to get trapped in denial. While not a hard and fast rule, I think there's some real truth in this and we're both paying attention to test the hypothesis. He and I are both introverts to some degree. We both dislike large groups - particularly those featuring inane chatter. We're much more interested in socializing with just one or two others at a time, and neither of us like groups at all unless there's a bunch of common ground. Neither of us are sticks in the mud, either - we we enjoy a drink or five when the time is right - it just takes more for the time to be right than for your typical party animal.

    When he first threw the idea out, it hit me instantly that most of the survivalists I know are exactly the same. Here's some further food for thought:

    1) As we batted this around, we realized that psychiatry, to a large degree, treats extroverts as "normal" and introverts as "dysfunctional"...

    2) (my own thoughts here) Liberals make fantastic herd animals, whereas conservatives gravitate more toward their associates/families/home life. It takes that "bunch of common ground" thing, on a fairly high intellectual plane to get conservatives gathered into large groups, which is why conservatives aren't drawn into inane activities such as public protests very often. (The Tea Party movement is the probably the first widespread mass public gathering of freedom loving conservatives since the revolution, and look at the magnitude of the crisis it took!)

    Liberals are quite the opposite - you find them grouped like that all the time, and such activities really gets their juices flowing (in any number of ways, including getting laid after the protest)...

    Perhaps (along with the warning that we're not going to take care of them when TSHTF) we owe our head-in-the-sand friends a little more compassion.
  2. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    You may be onto something there. When I look at my closest associates, we are much closer to being introverts, It's not something that I have thought about before now.
  3. Joseph Thomas

    Joseph Thomas Monkey+

    I think you are onto something really big on survival phsychology. When I first began to prep after 911 my wife would tell me that if the world wasn't the way she had always known it to be she didn't want to be around. As time went by and I slowly fed her facts on how fragile our situation is, plus the history of of the world she came around. Now she is a Grizzly Bear as Sarah Palin calls them.( Hold the insults) When it comes to her kids, Hell yes spend whatever we need to put enough food and fuel away to keep them safe. One relative who is a PhD thinks everything is OK and we have no problems. He is a typical liberal. No food put away for his family or any plan to get by if the system shuts down. But he definitely believes the government knows best and will save him and his family. Bottom line, My wife and I are introverts. The relative I mentioned is an extreme extrovert. Just anecdotal info for the thesis.
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    You get a cookie!
  5. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    This might offend some but I don't try and get people's heads out of the sand, other then my daughter's and their husbands. Did good on one and the other thinks we are nuts. Fine, I can live with that. The one who is not preparring would head about 200 miles north where the one that is preparring lives. From there they would all try and make it here as I have pleanty of room for them. But as far as any people living in the area are concerned, if they choose to party rather then prep, then they can party themselves into oblivian for all I care. Sure hope their uncles in d.c. will feed them, as I sure won't.
  6. grunt351

    grunt351 Monkey+

    I too have become disillusioned to those that just either have no clue nor want to have a clue what is happening in the world and how it affects them. Recently, I woke up and even today I wonder if I have woken up soon enough. At least both my brother and I both believe we should be prepared for different events and hope for the best. Furthermore, for those that looked at me queerly, well ba-humbug to them and let them fend for themselves. At least my immediate family will hopefully be prepared and have not completely put their head in the sand.

  7. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind


    Great post, thanks from a chronic introvert.
  8. Diddy

    Diddy Monkey+

    I can certainly see some validity to the "normalcy bias" hypothesis. I can't say it holds true for the the people I'm directly trying to influence but overall it makes sense when you look at society and the people that you know are either liberal or conservative. Even for myself I would say I'm and outgoing introvert.
    I'm not sure that liberal/conservative is correct since there are liberals that prep and Conservatives that don't. But I don't think anyone can argue the percentage of preppers/survivalists is overwhelmingly conservative.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Ceremony of Induction and extreme oath of the Jesuits

    "You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities, provinces and states that were of peace, and incite them to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other, and to create revolutions and civil wars, in countries that were independent and prosperous, cultivating the arts and the sciences and enjoying the blessings of peace. To take sides with the combatants and to act secretly in concert with your brother Jesuit, who might be engaged on the other side, but openly opposed to that with which you might be connected, only that the church might be the gainer in the end, in the conditions fixed in the treaties for peace and that the end justifies the means."

    (Library of Congress catalog number 66-43354)
  10. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    When I challenged people, years ago, to think about Katrina, during the event , for the most part they did not want to . they chose a disconnect rather then to consider their own lives at this end of the world.
    Denial is easy,
    Being over whelmed with how badly some one else's situation is going puts some into coma, so to speak.
    Personally having lived with in several events ,I identify with the struggle others are enduring .
    My brother is probably not as prepared as I am , for economic collapse ,grid down, and so on, but little by little he reveals a little more that he had invested.
    The more tumultuous the times become , I think people are catching on generally speaking .
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