THE OSTRICH PARADOX: Why We Underprepare for Disasters Hot
Why are we humans so poor at dealing with disastrous risks when met with a sudden emergency, and even more so with longer term emergencies like climate change? Robert Meyer is the Frederick H. Ecker/MetLife Insurance Professor of Marketing and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the co-author with Howard Kunreuther of The Ostrich Paradox, which presents the six cognitive biases that lead individuals, communities, and institutional planners to make grave errors when met with a sudden emergency – whether a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake, or a catastrophe such as a plane crash or a building fire. They present in the book a Behavioral Risk Audit, a systematic approach for improving our risk preparedness by designing strategies that anticipate our biases, and could help us design more effective strategies.