Mar 19, 2021 | by Budi Tanrim
Use Peltzman effect to communicate risk
In September 1967, Sweden changed their traffic rule—from driving on the left-hand side to the right.
Suddenly number of crashes and fatalities dropped significantly. The number of motor insurance claims went down by 40%, returning to normal over the next six weeks. How come? Gerald J. S. Wilde, a professor at Queen’s University in Canada, suggested that people perceived the risk on the road is higher when this changes, which increases people awareness when driving.
This is called a Risk Compensation bias or Peltzman effect. Turned out there is a tendency for people to take safer action when the perceived risk is increased.
That’s why we need to communicate the risk to our team whenever we want to make a risky decision. Especially when the team wants to make unethical decisions and “letting it slip” by using mantras such as moving fast break things.
Communicate the risk of skipping research. Communicate the risk of delivering a crappy experience. It’s hard, but you have to communicate the risk concretely to increase the perceived risk to help your team become more careful in their decision.
Your product touches hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. Have you done enough to make their life better? Have you done enough to say no to unethical and dark pattern shit in your product?