This is Why We are Irrational In Times Like These

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

Though we, as humans, are supposed to be pretty smart, we do a lot of things that might not seem rational.

For example, we do things like text and drive, we don’t get flu shots that can stop us from getting sick, and we hoard things like toilet paper…Dan Ariely, a professor from Duke University, has some reasons for this.

Ariely has released a book called “Predictable Irrational,” and it takes a look at why we do these irrational things…especially in a time of crisis. One of the most mind-boggling things is why we have all become such toilet paper hoarders and why, when we see empty shelves, we start to panic.

According to Ariely, when we are in these situations, you are saying to yourself “This must be something I need to get very quickly and let me get a lot of it so I don’t run out.” But, in general, our responses to things like this are flawed.

On top of this, we don’t do a good job at thinking ahead. Ariely says, “We don’t pay much attention to things that will happen in the future, even if the future is two weeks from now.” He also says that we “don’t pay attention to things that are invisible like viruses.”

All of this is compounded even more as COVID-19 started to spread, and this led to a slow government response and the population’s collective apathy to the threat. Another thing that compounds it is that we, at our core, are also pretty selfish.

“We do what is selfishly good for us and not what’s good for other people,” Ariely says. This means that people who should be staying home because they are sick, go out anyway, and then they contaminate others. This is a normal impulse to defy the stay-at-home orders that many of us are under. And wearing a mask is NOT a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of caring for others than yourself.

Ariely says, “What’s interesting about public goods problems is, as long as everybody participates, everybody gets a lot of benefits, and when people start defecting or betraying the public good, lots of bad things happen. And in a situation like a pandemic, it’s enough that a small percentage of people don’t adhere to the rules and they can hurt everybody.”

Now, we also have the issue of some government officials and health experts being at odds with themselves. President Trump is pushing governors to open their states back up quickly, while public health experts are warning that doing this could quickly cause a huge uptick in cases.

What does Ariely say about this? He says, “The sad reality is that we’ve always had a tradeoff between money and saving lives. This is not something new.”

He also adds that the best thing we can do right now is make the best of our quarantine:

“It’s an opportunity to start new habits, new routines like exercise, eat better, spend time with your family,” he says. “It’s also an opportunity to start worse habits, like not exercising, overeating and developing addiction to social media and the news.”

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.

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  1. Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 05/27/2020 10:42 AM
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Tags:
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Rainmaker
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Robert Siciliano - these are interesting times and this sounds like a book worth reading.

May 27, 2020 11:18 AM #1
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Robert- very interesting premise.  The slang FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is similar. We see others buying TP, hand sanitizer, etc and we feel we have to buy it as well. 

May 29, 2020 08:35 PM #2
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

May 30, 2020 06:55 PM #3
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Interesting perspective, I guess those empty shelves spark somethin in our survival instinct, like fight or flight. Thank you.

May 31, 2020 06:06 AM #4
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Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Very interesting observations, I concur as I share a lot of those views. Proud to say he'd had no book with me and my family. I'm a flawed man but God blessed me with calm in a storm (tested hundreds of times in my life) and I never follow the herd, the Jones', the over reaction crowds or the ridiculous mob mentality conspiracy nuts we see on the news,  in store-hoarders and sinful opportunists in recent protests.

We never ran out of the t.p. we'd bought under normal circumstance in February. We were able to purchase it off the shelf in late May when we finally ran out. This pandemic is revealing the unprepared, the immature and the paranoid/selfish in our micro-societies. I'm with good friends and family, no one panicked in my inner circle, only 3 did I witness in my acquaintance circle reveal true colors.

May 31, 2020 09:15 AM #5
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi there, maybe the TP supply is one thing people can control in a situation that is clearly out of their control. I think that might also be part of the behavior. Happy to say, we don't hoard anything and always trusted that there would be enough to go around - and there is. We also wear our masks in public out of respect for others - in fact, we had to go on a road trip to pick up a dog - due to the current pandemic - now we are self quarantined from the rest of the family for two weeks. Some people might consider it crazy behavior, but it's what our family wanted to ensure my 94 year old mother's health, and their health as well. ( We live in a multi gen home).  It's about respect and compassion and common sense. Always. 

May 31, 2020 10:08 AM #6
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD I hadn't thought about the fact that you would have to quarantine from your family when you returned!  But it's the right and safe thing to do!!!  We wear masks as well ...just trying to do what we can. 

May 31, 2020 04:10 PM #7
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Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great insights here. yes, it's a bit like the Tragedy of the Commons.  And, poor leadership.  But, I will slightly disagree on the TP situation. Normally with storms, this is irrational.But, in this chase it's a big supply chain issue, too. Half of it normally goes to work/commercial places...which have not had a need and different size/shape and distribution channels which are not able to easily shift.  And, ironically distribution w/ JIT inventory has led to low surplus in warehouses.  And, yes, on top of that is the irrational behavior.

May 31, 2020 08:36 PM #8
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Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Very interesting and I do agree with it. As for the toilet paper situation, we were very lucky to have just bought a 16 roll pack a couple of days before all shelves went bare and still haven't run out. We did buy some this week because it was available. We didn't need it but bought it anyways. You know, just because we could. LOL

Jun 01, 2020 01:01 PM #9
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Sounds like a great book, Robert! It's definitely an interesting time for society!

Jeff

Jun 01, 2020 08:03 PM #10
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