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Normalcy Bias - Do You Suffer From It?

Normalcy Bias - Do You Suffer From It?

Normalcy Bias is the belief that if something hasn't occurred, it won't occur. It's a state of denial that deals specifically with disasters; and upwards of 70% of the population are estimated to suffer from it. This dovetails with the research done by Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness which states that only 34% of people believe they are prepared for a disaster.1 

Normalcy Bias is also responsible for the underestimation of the effects of a disaster and it leads to falsely assuming that everything will be all right - clearly not always the case. 

Normalcy Bias is one of the most dangerous biases we've discussed. Over the past year we've taken a look at seven biases and three additional causes of what could be called "preparation constipation." Getting prepared is an intellectually heavy lift - but a necessary one. Below is a list of some of the demons preventing some from getting properly prepared.

  • Optimism Bias
  • Herding Bias
  • Myopia Bias
  • Amnesia Bias
  • Inertia Bias
  • Single Action Bias
  • Normalcy Bias
  • Planning Fallacy
  • Finite Pool of Worry
  • Emotional Numbing

Understanding the ingrained biases and other inherent issues we need to overcome, it's understandable that a significant percentage of the population is unprepared.


  1. 1 - Infographic on the Unpreparedness of the American Population