Archive | risk

Attempts To Increase Safety Can Have The Opposite Effect

According to the theory of risk compensation, people adjust their behavior in response to perceived levels of risk; they are careful when they sense heightened risk and less careful when they feel more protected. As a result, attempts to increase safety can have the opposite effect. For example, the much-cited paper “The Effects of Automobile…

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Fear of using nuclear energy might be contributing to global warming

Remember the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster? In 1986, there was an accident during a test at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine and the resulting explosion released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere. The radiation released was 400 times the radiation produced by the bombing of Hiroshima during World…

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Change Is The Only Constant

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. This optimistic quote is frequently attributed to Theodor Geisel (aka the popular children’s author, Dr. Seuss). In fact, the saying likely pre-dates him by 100 years and should be attributed to the poet Ludwig Jacobowski. Regardless of the true origin, it’s a useful quote to pull…

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Fail

Fantastic Failures from Famous Folk

As a way of encouraging my team to take more risks, I’ve been espousing the philosophy “Failure is the new black” and have been cataloging quotes on failure from famous people. But increased risk-taking doesn’t just come from pithy quotes, it helps to provide examples of people who failed… and thrived.  Here are four such stories:…

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The Poison of Food

For reasons I’d rather not go into, I decided to do a little research into food poisoning with a seemingly simple question: How does food get poisoned? It turns out most food-related illnesses can be separated into two types: toxins and infection. The traditional use of the term food poisoning stems from the existence of…

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health

Are Your Co-Workers Good For Your Health?

Co-workers can be good for your health. A 2011 research study from Tel Aviv University suggests having nice co-workers improves employee health. The researchers closely monitored 800 adults over twenty years, repeatedly interviewing them on a wide range of topics from the conditions in their workplace, the behavior of their bosses, and the niceness of…

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The Nocebo Effect is Serious Medicine

A decade ago I read an intriguing article entitled “The Nocebo Effect: Placebo’s Evil Twin” which argued a patient’s pessimistic attitude could have negative consequences on their health. Research showed that patients who were warned of gastrointestinal side effects from repeated use of aspirin were almost three times as likely to exhibit the side effects…

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