Perception vs Reality

Megan point us at the strange case of improving traffic safety by making traffic feel unsafe. She points out that there are many cases where we take actions for their perceived value, not for their actual value. Of special interest are the cases where the perceived and actual values are trade-offs, i.e. increasing one decreases the other. I’m inclined to think that all effort to increase the perceived value of something actually decreases our potential for getting to real value; it’s simply opportunity cost. Opportunity costs tell us we give up something whenever we make a choice, so any effort to improve perceived value decreases the attainment of something which has real value.


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