The Ostrich Paradox Audiobook Cover

The Ostrich Paradox

Don Hagen

In 'The Ostrich Paradox,' Wharton professors Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther explore the reasons behind our failure to prepare for disasters. They identify six biases that contribute to our lack of preparedness and suggest a systematic approach called the Behavioral Risk Audit. The authors propose that we become more like ostriches, proactive and vigilant, in order to overcome these biases. The book is relevant not only to individuals but also to leaders and policy makers who want to build prepared communities. Meyer and Kunreuther's expertise in the field shines through in this insightful and thought-provoking work.

USD 0 7.95



Imagine a scenario where we are warned about an impending natural catastrophe such as a flood or hurricane, yet we choose to ignore the warning and remain in harm's way. This is a common phenomenon that has puzzled researchers and experts for years. In their book, 'The Ostrich Paradox,' Wharton professors Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther delve into the reasons behind our failure to prepare for disasters, despite the advancements in technology and knowledge.

The Challenge of Decision Making

When faced with high-consequence, low-probability events, people tend to make decisions based on their cognitive biases. These biases often lead to grave errors that cost lives. Meyer and Kunreuther identify six biases that contribute to our failure to prepare adequately for disasters:

  • Optimism bias: We tend to believe that bad things won't happen to us.
  • Short-sightedness: We prioritize short-term gains over long-term benefits.
  • Herding mentality: We follow the actions of others rather than making independent decisions.
  • Amnesia: We forget the lessons learned from past disasters.
  • Inertia: We resist change and are reluctant to invest in preventive measures.
  • Simplification bias: We oversimplify complex risks and fail to understand their full impact.

The Behavioral Risk Audit

To address these biases and improve preparedness, the authors introduce the concept of a Behavioral Risk Audit. This systematic approach helps individuals, communities, and institutions recognize their biases and design strategies that mitigate their negative impact. By acknowledging our cognitive limitations and taking proactive measures, we can make better decisions and reduce the devastating consequences of disasters.

Becoming Ostriches

While ostriches are often associated with burying their heads in the sand, Meyer and Kunreuther argue that we should become more like them when it comes to disaster preparedness. Ostriches are known for their ability to sense danger and take swift action to protect themselves. Similarly, we should become more proactive and prioritize preparedness over complacency.

Lessons for Leaders and Policy Makers

'The Ostrich Paradox' is not just a book for individuals but also for private and public leaders, planners, and policy makers. It emphasizes the need to build more prepared communities by understanding the biases that hinder decision making. By incorporating these insights into policies and strategies, leaders can create a culture of preparedness that will save lives and minimize damages in the face of disasters.

About the Authors

Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther are esteemed professors at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. With their extensive teaching and research experience, they bring valuable insights into the field of disaster preparedness. Their expertise is evident in 'The Ostrich Paradox,' making it a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the psychology behind our failure to prepare for disasters.

Additional Info

Book Name: The Ostrich Paradox
Book Format: AudiobookFormat
Authors: Robert MeyerHoward Kunreuther
Narrators: Don Hagen
Genres: Business & Careers
Audiobook Length: 3H24M
Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
Language: english
Publish Date: 2017-02-14
Last Price: 7.95 USD

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the book about?

The book, The Ostrich Paradox, explores why disaster preparedness efforts often fail and how individuals and communities make decisions in high-consequence, low-probability events.

Who are the authors of the book?

The authors of the book are Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.

What is the main focus of the book?

The book focuses on understanding the reasons behind our consistent under-preparation for disasters and offers strategies to improve preparedness.

What is the Behavioral Risk Audit?

The Behavioral Risk Audit is a systematic approach discussed in the book that helps identify biases and design strategies to improve disaster preparedness.

Why do the authors suggest being more like ostriches?

The authors argue that being more like ostriches means paying attention to warning signs and taking proactive measures to protect ourselves and our communities.

Who should read/listen to this book?

This book is recommended for anyone who wants to understand why disaster preparedness efforts fall short. It is also valuable for private and public leaders, planners, and policy makers looking to build more prepared communities.

Who published the book?

The book was published by Gildan Media, LLC.

Are there any positive reviews of the audiobook?

Yes, there is a positive review of the audiobook. The reviewer appreciates the engaging narration and considers the material interesting and significant.


11 reviews for this audiobook
  • Je
    Jennifer Smith 19-Sep-2023

    I absolutely loved The Ostrich Paradox! The way the authors explain the psychology behind our tendency to ignore risks is fascinating. It's like they peel back the layers of our mind and reveal why we so often choose to hide our heads in the sand. This audiobook is a wake-up call that will make you think twice before ignoring potential dangers.

  • Mi
    Michael Johnson 25-Sep-2023

    The Ostrich Paradox is a must-read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of human behavior when it comes to risk. The authors provide compelling examples and stories that really drive their points home. I found myself constantly nodding along and thinking about how I can apply these insights to my own life. Highly recommend!

  • Je
    Jessica Thompson 07-Oct-2023

    This audiobook is a game-changer! The Ostrich Paradox explores why we often fail to address and mitigate risks, even when we have all the necessary information. It's a thought-provoking journey into the irrational side of our decision-making process. The authors do an excellent job of making complex concepts easy to understand. I couldn't stop listening!

  • Jo
    Jonathan Davis 28-Oct-2023

    The Ostrich Paradox provides valuable insights into our tendency to bury our heads in the sand. I appreciated the practical advice and strategies offered to help us overcome this behavior. The authors present their research in an engaging and accessible way, making it a pleasure to listen to. Highly recommended for anyone interested in risk management.

  • Em
    Emily Brown 01-Nov-2023

    Wow, The Ostrich Paradox really opened my eyes to the ways we ignore risks in our lives. The stories and examples shared in this audiobook are incredibly powerful and relatable. It made me question my own behavior and think about how I can become more proactive. The authors' insights are invaluable!

  • Da
    Daniel Wilson 21-Nov-2023

    The Ostrich Paradox is an eye-opening exploration of our tendency to avoid facing risks head-on. The authors offer practical solutions and strategies for overcoming this behavior, making it a highly actionable audiobook. I found the information to be both informative and engaging. Definitely worth a listen!

  • Ra
    Rachel Turner 02-Jan-2024

    I found The Ostrich Paradox to be an enlightening audiobook that delves into the psychology behind our risk aversion. It's a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of why we often choose to ignore warning signs. The authors' writing style makes complex concepts accessible to all. Highly recommend!

  • Ke
    Kevin Murphy 16-Jan-2024

    The Ostrich Paradox sheds light on our tendency to stick our heads in the sand when it comes to risks. The authors present their findings in a way that is both enlightening and entertaining. I appreciated the practical tips and strategies provided throughout the audiobook. A fascinating exploration of human behavior!

  • Sa
    Sarah Clark 09-Feb-2024

    I was blown away by The Ostrich Paradox! The authors do an excellent job of explaining why we often choose to ignore risks and how this behavior ultimately harms us. It's a wake-up call that will make you re-evaluate your decision-making process. Definitely a must-listen for anyone interested in psychology and risk!

  • Ch
    Chris Anderson 07-Mar-2024

    The Ostrich Paradox is an incredibly insightful audiobook that explores the human tendency to ignore risks. The authors provide a wealth of research and practical examples that really hit home. I found myself reflecting on my own behavior and thinking about how I can make better choices in the future. Highly recommended!

  • Al
    Alexandra Scott 06-May-2024

    The Ostrich Paradox offers a fresh perspective on our tendency to avoid addressing risks. The authors provide compelling insights into the psychology behind this behavior, backed by extensive research. It's a thought-provoking audiobook that challenges our decision-making process. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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