By Robert Folsom | April 22, 2013
It’s easy to ignore information that goes against what you think you know, but hard to find out later that the information was right and you were wrong. We’ve all been there, done that, tried to learn from our mistakes, etc.
Yet you can’t claim to “learn from a mistake” if you have information you know is correct and choose not to follow it.
The issue gets thornier when you
- Have information you know is correct,
- Choose not to follow it, and
- Do things that are likely to harm yourself, or even worse, harm other people.
Behavior of this kind is not rational. By definition it contradicts what traditional economists say about humans as rational actors, who “make decisions in ways that maximize their well being.”
Now, many people who understand financial markets (like Bob Prechter) have long rejected the rational actor notion. And a growing number of academic studies have forced the traditionalists to admit that humans sometimes make decisions that are less than rational.
Still, traditional economists insist that when it really counts, humans do make rational choices.
Such as, one would assume, avoiding dirty needles. No, I don’t mean the kind passed around by junkies. I mean needles compromised by the “unsafe injection practices” of health care professionals…
…Which is what disposable syringes are supposed to help avoid. After all, not using them properly can spread diseases. Somebody could die.
All I can tell you, dear reader, is what I read recently in USA Today:
Since 2001, more than 150,000 patients nationwide have been victims of unsafe injection practices, and two-thirds of those risky shots were administered in just the past four years…
I’d say that treating sick people — and trying to keep others from getting sicker — is “when it really counts.”
It’s hard not to shudder at the thought of dirty needles in modern health care facilities. “Why?” is the immediate question. Even so, the less obvious but perhaps equally important question is: “Why so much now?”
Alan Hall’s research suggests that socionomics can help answer that latter question.
“The Human Species Stands at a Critical Juncture” is the lead article in the current issue of The Socionomist, and is part two of a two-part report from Alan Hall on the adverse health effects of negative social mood.
You can read Alan’s study — and a wealth of other groundbreaking socionomic research — with a subscription to The Socionomist. Follow this link to learn more.