Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

We know that behavior is not simple but there are simple behavioral components that keep getting ignored. Relative to what we all experience in life like conflicts in the Dan Ariely remarks below and in a previous blog on this site.… we recognize his statements on habits, good and bad, etc.  Yet there is a second component that comes to be more easily considered as well.  Follow along…

Dan Ariely: ….(on the October Bailout, politicians, Wall Street, etc.)

The second thing is that nothing has changed much in the short term living of people. In some sense, this is smaller than the effect of the increasing gas prices.

Greer: Yeah.

Ariely: What is happening? Basically the thing is we are creatures of habit, if you think about it. The best predictor of what we will do tomorrow is what we did today. That is it. Habits are good and bad. They are good because they help us save energy. We don’t have to think about it. We don’t have to contemplate every cup of coffee if it is worth it or not. As a consequence, we get into habits.

When we lose 50 or 500 interactive habits all at once via an earthquake, hurricane, family death, financial threats, loneliness, fall from grace, rejection…etc. (you get the idea) we have nothing to replace those ‘habits’ that are the products of conditioning shaped by consequences over years. We don’t have any behavior to replace those lost dynamic relationships with… literally!. We have to figure it out all over again. Sometimes it is too much to handle.

Take the following stories bunched together from Associated Press just today…10/7/08

Tuesday, October 7th 2008, 11:31 AM

AP/The Courier-Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A deputy coroner confirmed Tuesday that Hope Orwick stabbed her two children to death and then shot herself.

Deputy Jefferson County Coroner Bob Jones said Emily Orwick, 9, and Lindsey Orwick, 8, were stabbed multiple times, though he could not say how many. He said Hope Orwick, 35, shot herself in the head.


Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said a family member stopped by the house just before 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday and found the bodies.

Jones said he hasn’t been able to pinpoint when the girls died, and police were trying to determine a motive for the killings.

Crisis counselors will be available at the girls’ elementary school Wednesday, said Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Lauren Roberts, who would not say which school they attended. Public schools in Louisville were closed Tuesday for parent-teacher conferences.


Along the quiet, well-kept southwest Jefferson County street where the family lived, children played in their yards Tuesday. All was quiet at the family’s modest, ranch-style house, where there were no signs of activity.

Two chaplains were at the scene Monday night, and Smiley said 15 or so family members gathered there. Police talked to relatives to see if they could help explain what may have led to the deaths.

Neighbor Mechelle Rockey, 48, told The Courier-Journal that she has lived across the street from the family for about six months. She said the two girls often played outside.

Contingencies around us control our behavior. We give them other ‘causes’ but as you can see it is contingencies that have all the power, be you the Pope, the President or the paparazzi… all the people above lost what they saw as options on what to do. Ariely and the others represent the loss (of behavior) on how to cope, what strategies to use, what methods to embrace, etc. They lost their behavior.

What contingencies control your behavior and generates your ‘habits’ that define who you are and what you’d do in your crisis?

Read Full Post »

The financial issues are the ultimate consequence for huge swaths of people, policy makers, CEOs, workers, and investors.

Nothing better than the brink of financial destruction to get people moving.

We’ve had significant policy changes in less than a week!  When have you seen this much action in government?

Here’s a proxy chart of stock market action (from wikipedia):

S & P Index, proxy chat

S & P Index, proxy chat

For reference, I made this chart that plots the calendar year and continuous years of one political party that maintains the presidential office.  Spikes represent when the party changes.  Consider this against the above chart.  If you like the raw data, here it is. Volatility does not necessarily imply a change of party, but a crisis  and/or complete stagnation seems to.  Perhaps change of office is a catalyst, perhaps it’s a lagging indicator. hmmm.

Changes in the Presidential Office

Changes in the Presidential Office

All that said, I’m very empathetic to everyone who’s lost money as the result of inaction.  It sucks. It is necessary though.

I hate “corrections”.  Corrections are cute and they happen, but they aren’t CHANGE.

Review the history of the Federal Reserve to go deep into how panics, massive failures, and brink of collapse spur rapid action.

Since you’re here and researching, you might as well read up on the US Treasury.  Spend some time in the Timeline. Funny how the 2000s are so light?  When is “history” history?  I have a feeling 2005-2010 on this web page will have a few line items.

Read Full Post »