A pretty good piece on how people react to disasters
Read more at www.hlswatch.com
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has written extensively about the mindset that predispose people to success. She notes that people seem to have one of two default mindsets, which may be expressed as preferences in any number of aspects of their lives. She proffers simple pairs of statements to determine which mindset people use to approach various situations in their lives.
For this situation, Dweck might ask people to agree or disagree with the following propositions:
- The ability to recover from a major disaster depends on the resources available to me and others after the event.
- The ability to recover from a major disaster depends on how I and others use the resources we have after the event.
- Our resource endowments — what we have managed to accumulate — determines how well we will adapt to our new circumstances.
- How we develop our resources, especially our human and social capital, determines how well we will adapt to our new circumstances.
Those who express a stronger preferences for statements 1 and 3, I would suggest, are more likely to approach their current situation with a fixed mindset. They will have difficulty finding the strength to move forward and they will find their progress more difficult and more limited than those with a growth mindset.
The growth mindset people will find it easier to agree with statements 2 and 4. They will find a way to take advantage of every opportunity to rebound from this tragedy. They will consider themselves bent but not broken despite their losses. They will see the challenge as an opportunity to rise above the limitations others impose upon them or they themselves might have seen in their previous situations.