Tag Archives | unintended consequences

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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The Unintended Consequence Of The Cobra Effect

Whenever plans don’t work out the way someone expects them to, I’m reminded of the cobra effect. Coined in a book written by the late German economist Horst Siebert, the cobra effect is a cautionary tale of unintended consequences during British rule in India. The British government was concerned that venomous cobra snakes were common…

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