I’ve been thinking a lot about Guardians lately. In particular, I’ve been wondering why they sometimes seem a bit stuck in the status quo, preferring to do things the same way they’ve always done them rather than experiment with new approaches. Have you ever noticed that?
As I thought about it I realized that actually, research has shown that it’s not just Guardians–there’s a general tendency for people to make decisions that maintain the status quo. There’s even a name for it—the status quo bias—and psychologists have hypothesized that it’s a self-protective mechanism1. In order to break from the status quo we need to take action, and doing so requires accepting responsibility and opening ourselves up for criticism. Since most of us don’t particularly like to be criticized, keeping things as they are is a much safer choice.