What covid shows about risk-benefit assessment

I discussed basic covid risk-benefit assessment here: The covid/vax risk-benefit assessment is easy to do on your own.

Today I want to add a significant psychological factor to this assessment and also note that this factor is prominent in almost all risk-benefit assessments.

The factor is the approval or disapproval of others if your assessment turns out to be right or wrong. If you are right people will admire you (or feel envious, vindictive, etc). If you are wrong people will mock you (or feel happy, gloat, etc).

It is important to recognize this factor while you are making your assessment and do everything you can to avoid being influenced by it. You have to be a seasoned, courageous philosopher to do this well. Be sure to explain this factor to your SO and close friends. Best of all, teach them to see the importance of it and not do it in their thinking either. Then none of you will have this effect on each other.

With covid, we accept a risk-benefit with the choice of getting the vax or not getting it. Remove the above described psychological factor from your decision process and your mind will be clearer and best able to make the decision that is right for you.

It is probably true that most people invest money quietly and take their losses in silence, only reporting their wins, if that. Doing this generally allows for better risk-benefit assessment because the above psychological factor is removed.

This same principle can be valuably applied to all kinds of predictions. When we make assessments of how the future might be, we want to be careful not to see our options as bets we will be proud or ashamed of when they happen or not.

In a Buddhist sense, this is no-self, mindfulness, and nonattachment all working together to make us think more clearly and thus conclude more accurately and wisely. ABN

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s