Dom Post: ‘Unrealistic optimism’ bounces back

Marty Sharpe writes in the Dominion Post that, for at least some of the people who experienced the Christchurch earthquake, it could take as little as 3 months to return to a state of ‘unrealistic optimism’.

‘Unrealistic optimisim’ is defined as people being unreasonably optimistic about their chances of experiencing a natural disaster, and while it can have benefits in terms of motivation, it can also have disadvantages should a natural disaster actually occur.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“A report by Opus International Consultants after the Gisborne earthquake in 2007 found that “while the careful become more careful”, those that had no preparation measures for a disaster were even less likely to employ measures afterwards.

“Mr McClure said the best way to prevent unrealistic optimism was by enforcing [building] regulation. “One reason Christchurch is still standing, unlike Haiti, is regulation.

“”The best way to be ready is by having your house checked. The emergency kit is important but [building] structure is 90 per cent of it. For me, that is the most important thing. Optimism is where you think an earthquake will hit someone else, not you. It’s a big problem in Western culture. People think bad things will happen to other people, not them.””