Status Quo Bias

Why We Stick to What We Know: The Comfort of the Familiar


Ever noticed how we hang on to the way things are, even if they're not doing us any good? It's not just a habit – it's how our brains are wired.

We naturally see the world as it is and think, "This is how it should be." That's why changes often feel like losses to us, even if they could be good for us.

This thinking explains why we love 'default' options in life. It's why it's tough to throw out stuff we don't need or why we don't easily give up on old ideas.

Here's a quick look at how this plays out in different areas:

  • In business, we stick to the old ways, even when new, better methods are right there.
  • In politics, we hold onto policies that don't work anymore because they're familiar.
  • In our social lives, changing norms or values feels like a big deal.
  • When it comes to science and ethics, we're often wary about stepping into new territory.

Realizing we have this 'status quo bias' is key. It's not about beating ourselves up for liking what's familiar. It's about knowing when that's holding us back.

So, the next time you're faced with a choice, remember: sometimes, it's okay to stick with what you know. But other times, it's worth taking a leap into the new and unknown.

Here are 3 other concepts you might benefit from:

The Streetlight Effect

Via Negativa

Causal Reductionism