No. #68

Normalcy Bias
- Underestimating Disaster Likelihood

The normalcy bias is a cognitive bias which leads people to disbelieve or minimize threat warnings. Hence, individuals underestimate the likelihood of a disaster, when it might affect their personal decision-making. This can influence how users respond to warnings or emergency alerts in apps designed for disaster preparedness or crisis management.

Read more on Wikipedia

Product example

Users might ignore or not take seriously enough the emergency alerts from a weather app, assuming that the situation will not be as severe as predicted.

Empathy tips


Emphasize Severity Appropriately

Ensure that emergency alerts are designed to appropriately emphasize the severity of the situation.


User Education on Risks

Educate users on the risks of normalcy bias and the importance of taking warnings seriously.


Customizable Alert Levels

Allow users to customize the level of alert they receive, to prevent desensitization.


Regular Testing and Feedback

Regularly test and seek user feedback on the effectiveness of alert systems.

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