Is really important clearly, we’re making some bad decisions around the, coronavirus pandemic, and how we’ll recover from it. We are heading into a, new abnormal of, cognitive bias. This is the dangerous judgment errors that people are making around the, coronavirus pandemic, and their false assumptions of what’s going to happen afterward, because we’ll never go back to before January 2020.
Dr Gleb Tsipursky, disaster avoidance expert, says that he has no crystal ball; but as a behavioral economic and cognitive neuroscientist, his expertise is in recognizing the blind spots in our nature as well as, cognitive biases, that lead us to miss reality and make disastrous errors in our decision making.
Listen to the full interview Here:
Introduction to Cognitive Bias and the Coronavirus Pandemic
These, cognitive bias, errors are costing lives and ruining livelihoods. The information shared today will help you keep you safe and enable you to plan for the future in the, new abnormal, after the, coronavirus pandemic.
Myrna – Tell us what made you write the Book: Resilience Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID – 19 Coronavirus Pandemic.
Dr Gleb – I wrote the book after seeing lots of folks make some bad decisions around the, coronavirus pandemic, and their assumptions of what’s going to happen after the, coronavirus pandemic.
When I was first investigating the, new abnormal, as a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist, risk management expert; I’ve been various sorts of future forecasting future proofing. That we address the threats and maximize the opportunities that come to us in the future.
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What I saw was that people were just dismissing, COVID-19, as a disease in the middle of somewhere in Wuhan China. I started investigating and found Wuhan is a huge city it’s 11 million people. It produces over 22 billion dollars in revenue. It’s called the Chicago of China. Wuhan is a transportation industrial hub with over 200 international flights per day.
It’s very well-developed city modern city and the medical infrastructure completely collapsed because of the, coronavirus pandemic. When you look at what was happening in January and February 2020, I could forecast the dangers of the, coronavirus pandemic.
The Normalcy Bias and the coronavirus pandemic
Is really important clearly, we’re making some bad decisions around the, coronavirus pandemic, and how we’ll recover from it. We are heading into a, new abnormal. Cognitive biases, the dangerous judgment errors that people are making around the, coronavirus pandemic, and their false assumptions of what’s going to happen afterward because we’ll never go back to January 2020.
One of the biggest, cognitive biases, that causes us to make bad decisions not simply around the, coronavirus pandemic; but any sort of situation that might result in a major disaster is called the, normalcy bias. The, normalcy bias, refers to us perceiving that the future will be much like the past.
We’re unable to really make good predictions and trend lines, for example, the fiscal crisis of 2008-2009. It was pretty clear that the rising housing prices was going to be unsustainable for houses. It was it was clear; but people kept buying and then everything crashed.
Because I have this feeling this gut reaction this, normalcy bias, the natural implication or conclusion is that infrastructure without interventions will also be as badly affected as Wuhan and Northern Italy and collapse.
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Myrna – so the, cognitive bias, is what you’re saying that people look at the past and normalize the future.
What is Anchoring in the coronavirus pandemic
Dr Gleb – An example of a, cognitive bias, is called, anchoring. Anchoring, refers to looking at what we know about a topic and using that as a filter for all future subsequent information about a topic. The, coronavirus pandemic, started in China in November 2019 and nobody expected it to come this way because, Sars and all the other, coronaviruses, stayed isolated in the African countries.
They did not realize that this, coronavirus pandemic, would cause the collapse of a major modern medical infrastructure and none of these, coronaviruses, were not nearly as infectious as, COVID-19, coronavirus.
So, people were using their past information to judge all future events and this is a, cognitive bias.
Anchoring, causes us to make really bad decisions in a number of areas including the, coronavirus pandemic. The, normalcy bias, and, anchoring, are all applying to the world after, COVID-19. We anchored we look at the past, coronaviruses, we look at the flu because a lot of people were comparing the, coronavirus pandemic, it to the flu and we made some bad decisions.
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What is the cognitive bias that we need to remove in the New Abnormal?
In order to move forward, we know now that we underestimated, COVID-19, and now there’s another strain. This is a very intelligent virus; it keeps changing a lot.
The first, cognitive bias, we need to remove in the, new abnormal, is called, hyperbolic discounting. What we tend to do as human beings our intuition, our feelings causes us to be very oriented toward the short term. Toward what’s going to happen in the next few moments and discount the importance of the long-term future.
This new strain has collapsed the medical infrastructure in South Africa, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The latest information is they’re more deadly than the current, coronavirus, strains.
The, coronavirus vaccines, are somewhat less effective on these new stains. The effectiveness of the Pfizer, coronavirus vaccine, goes from 90 percent to 70 percent effective. That means this new strain of, coronavirus, will become dominant in the USA sometime by March or April of 2021.
How to Prepare for the new dominant strain of coronavirus
- Get into strict lockdown, because if you get sick with, COVID-19, you will be facing no prospect of getting into a hospital because the hospitals will be full. Also don’t do anything that might be considered dangerous. Don’t go skiing, don’t travel, don’t use power tools around the house etc.
- You need to get supplies because there will be supply disruptions of various sorts. People will get into panic buying again. So you want to protect yourself now by securing supplies for yourself and your family.
- You want to talk to your boss about working from home because this will be a bad time. If you cannot work from home, you should consider looking for another job.
Are we immune from the new strain of COVID-19 if we had the first strain?
If you caught the, COVID-19, then you are immune for at least three months.
But you can still catch this new strain of, COVID-19. There are some cases where people do get re-infected and that depends on their physiology.
How do we adapt to the new normal of, working from home, social distancing, finding love on the internet because all the bars are closed?
What kind of, cognitive bias, do we have to remove?
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Cognitive Bias, the planning fallacy
Dr Gleb – One the, cognitive bias, that I think is really important is called the, planning fallacy. The, planning fallacy, refers to making plans and expecting the world will go according to our plans. You’ve probably heard the phrase failing to plan is planning to fail.
Unfortunately, the, planning fallacy, is the idea that our plans will often not go according to plan; but because of the, planning fallacy, we don’t put in enough resources to adapt to a new situation or contingencies risks and problems. We don’t pivot our plans nearly as quickly as we should.
So, you want to be aware that your plans for a life after, COVID-19, and getting back to January 2020 is very unlikely to come true because the, coronavirus pandemic, has already impacted our habits our values. What we care about, and our norms.
We need to get ready for a world that after, COVID-19, will be a bit more virtual, crowds may be uncomfortable, meeting strangers at a bar will be uncomfortable. You will feel anxious around other people.
Business will do business different after COVID-19 pandemic
The world will stay virtual for example. Your meeting with your insurance agent will be virtual.
- Real estate showings will remain virtual,
- coaching will be virtual.
- Many service professionals and sales people who are providing therapy or coaching services will remain virtual.
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Tell us about your book Resilience: Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19, Coronavirus Pandemic.
My book talks about how businesses, and individuals can adapt to this new abnormal during the last stage of, COVID-19 pandemic. The post recovery, how do you effectively collaborate virtually, for example.
How many people have taken the time to do a course in professional development on how to have effective virtual communication? After, COVID-19, if you are a more effective virtual communicator than other folks you can compete more effectively.
In the book that I talk about how to effectively survive and thrive in the last stage of, COVID-19, and the post recovery in a more virtual world, in a world characterized by more anxiety around interactions, in a world with supply chains disruptions.
How are you going to make sure that your business supply chains are protected? You need to make a strategic plan for yourself. My book goes for the specific steps on the ways that you go about making a strategic
Plan for yourself as an individual and if you are a business leader within a business or if you’re a team leader with a team.
How do listeners get a copy of your book and connect to you?
My book is available in bookstores everywhere. Readers or listeners can
get in touch with me from my blogs, videos podcasts, articles on my website www.disasteravoidanceexperts.com You can go to disaster avoidanceexperts.com/subscribe for a free eight video based course on making the wisest decisions and managing risks.
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