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Jul 2009

Risk homeostasis and risk compensation

Aus gegebenen Anlass:

Carful with claims mixing "risk compensation" with "risk homeostasis"!

"Risk compensation" is a well known human behavior which no one outside the bicycle community would put in doubt: if something appears more risky than before you use more caution than before (if you do not believe me, just quit the brakes from your bicycle and see if you really do not drive more carefully).

"Risk homeostasis" is a dubious hypothesis claiming that the humans tend to keep the risk at always the same level (therefor "homeostasis"). As humans do not have a sense for risk and it can easily be shown that they tend to overestimate some and underestimate others, it is quite obvious that it should be highly unlikely to be this case.