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Project Management, Denial, and the Death Zone by Grant Avery

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3

Risk Homeostasis Theory

“Take risk in your life like salt in your soup: not too much, nor too little.”

Professor Gerald Wilde (Emeritus professor of psychology,Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

ONE STEP FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK

The tendency for humans to maximize their outcomes instead of reducing their risks is explained by a concept called risk homeostasis theory.

Risk homeostasis, also known as risk compensation, was researched and written about by the Canadian psychologist, Professor Gerald Wilde, in his 1994 book Target Risk (updated in 2014 as Target Risk 3: Risk Homeostasis in Everyday Life).

Wilde wrote:

“In any ongoing activity, people continuously check the amount of risk they feel they are exposed to. They compare ...

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