Why do most people pretend like everything is fine even if it’s not?

Even when it comes to being a good human

Nikki Waterson
Change Management


Photo by Johannes Krupinski on Unsplash

You know what I’m talking about. People just breaching Covid restrictions by choosing not to wear masks despite all of the evidence that masks will help save lives. That kind of thing.

Well, there are two great psychological explanations that I use to understand why we do this!

1. Status Quo Bias

Humans are naturally likely to continue as they have been, rather than change what they’ve been doing for a new path.

As described by The Decision Lab:

…Our preference for the current state of affairs; resulting in resistance to change.

This is also called inertia, just like inertia in physics. The feeling of resistance that you get when you slow down from a higher speed, or vice versa.

An example of this is, as I discuss in an upcoming article, is that it took bushfires raging across Australia for businesses to incorporate giving into their business models. And when the bushfires were over, most businesses didn’t continue on with these social causes. Most returned to the status-quo.

2. Cognitive Dissonance