From the 18 January 2012 Medical News Today item
Whether it’s investing in stocks, bungee jumping or public speaking, why do we often plan to take risks but then “chicken out” when the moment of truth arrives?
In a new paper* in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder and Carnegie Mellon University argue that this “illusion of courage” is one example of an “empathy gap” – that is, our inability to imagine how we will behave in future emotional situations. According to the empathy gap theory, when the moment of truth is far off you aren’t feeling, and therefore are out of touch with, the fear you are likely to experience when push comes to shove. The research team also included Cornell University’s David Dunning and former CMU graduate student Ned Welch, currently a consultant for McKinsey. …
…”Because social anxiety associated with the prospect of facing an embarrassing situation is such a common and powerful emotion in everyday life, we might think that we know ourselves well enough to predict our own behavior in such situations,” said Leaf Van Boven, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. “But the ample experience most of us should have gained with predicting our own future behavior isn’t sufficient to overcome the empathy gap – our inability to anticipate the impact of emotional states we aren’t currently experiencing.”
The illusion of courage has practical consequences. “People frequently face potential embarrassing situations in everyday life, and the illusion of courage is likely to cause us to expose ourselves to risks that, when the moment of truth arrives, we wish we hadn’t taken,” said George Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Knowing that, we might choose to be more cautious, or we might use the illusion of courage to help us take risks we think are worth it, knowing full well that we are likely to regret the decision when the moment of truth arrives.” …
- The illusion of courage: Why people mispredict their behavior in embarrassing situations (eurekalert.org)
- Study of the Day: Why We Often Chicken Out at the Last Minute (theatlantic.com)
- People Overestimate Their Willingness to Take Risks (livescience.com)
- Why We Chicken Out At The Last Minute (neatorama.com)
This blog presents a sampling of health and medical news and resources for all. Selected articles and resources will hopefully be of general interest but will also encourage further reading through posted references and other links. Currently I am focusing on public health, basic and applied research and very broadly on disease and healthy lifestyle topics.
Several times a month I will post items on international and global health issues. My Peace Corps Liberia experience (1980-81) has formed me as a global citizen in many ways and has challenged me to think of health and other topics in a more holistic manner. (For those wishing to see pictures of a 2009 Friends of Liberia service trip to this West African country, please visit www.fol.org. My photo album is included).
This blog is a companion site to my Health and Medical News and Resources Web site with…
- Informational sites and guides
- Links to help from others (as health care providers and support groups)
- Interactive tools (as health calculators and apps)
- Select related news sites and blogs
My professional work experience and education includes over 10 years experience as a medical librarian and a Master’s in Library Science. In my most recent position I enjoyed contributing to our library’s blog, performing in depth literature searches, and collaborating with faculty, staff, students, and the general public.
While I will never be be able to keep up with the universe of current health/medical news,
I subscribe to the following to glean entries for this blog
- Medical News Today, a MediLexicon International daily online health news product
- MedLib-L ,a medical librarian discussion list
- Science Daily – Your source for the latest research news
- A Consumer and Patient Health (CAPHIS) discussion list , by a section of the Medical Library Association (MLA)
- MedlinePlus email updates from the US National Institutes of Health
- Public Health Partners from the National Library of Medicine
- US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) electronic newsletter with updates on the agency’s efforts to “improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans”
- Krafty (Medical)Librarian,” a collection of writings from Michelle Kraft on items of interest to medical librarians. She tends to write on technology and medical libraries but she also writes about things in general on librarianship, medicine and health”
- Research Buzz, “news about search engines, digital archives, online museums, databases, and other Internet information collections since 1998”
- Library Journal – Breaking News
- librarian.net by librarian consultant Jessamyn West
- The Cornflower, the blog of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region
- DocuTicker with “abstracts from ‘grey literature’: PDF reports published by government agencies, think tanks, NGOs, research institutes and other public interest groups”
- PubMed New and Noteworthy, updates from the largest indexer of biomedical journals in the world
- Free Government Information, a “place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information”
- Scout Report, a “weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators”
- Latest from Brookings Institute, independent research reports on social and political issues
- KevinMD.com -“Social Media’s leading physician voice”
- EurekAlert-Medicine and Health
- FTC sanctions yet another digital health product, a vision training app, over claims about effectiveness [Reblog]
- St. Louis Plan4Health Traffic Calming Demonstrations [YouTube]
- Made ya look: Moviegoers may have little control over their eye movements during Hollywood-style films, study finds [news release]
- Articles focus on OTC medications, dietary supplements & complementary/alternative medicine
- Too Many Athletes Warming Up Wrong Says Australilan Sports Scientist
- Atlas of the Human Body from the American Medical Association & Additional Anatomy Links
- Letting Doctors Make the Tough Decisions
- Do Cell Phones Make Us Less Socially Minded?
- Red Yeast Rice: An Introduction (A Fact Sheet from NCCAM)
- Restitution Vs. Apology In Forgiveness
- [Web site] Count the Costs: 50 Years on the War on Drugs
- Vaccine Risk Perceptions and Ad Hoc Risk Communication: An Empirical Assessment | Full Text Reports...
- [Press release] Zip code better predictor of health than genetic code
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