normalcy bias

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normalcy bias (plural normalcy biases)

  1. (sociology) A human tendency to respond to threat warnings with disbelief or minimization, and to similarly underestimate a disaster's deleterious effects.


  • Haim Omer and Nahman Alon, “The Continuity Principle: A Unified Approach to Disaster and Trauma”, American Journal of Community Psychology 22, no. 2 (April 1994): 275–276 ("... normalcy bias consists in underestimating the probability of disaster, or the disruption involved in it ..."). PMID 7977181
  • T. E. Drabek, Human System Responses to Disaster: an Inventory of Sociological Findings (New York: Springer Verlag, 1986): 72 ("The initial response to a disaster warning is disbelief.") ISBN 9781461249603 (e-book) | OCLC 1037648749