via Psychology Today:
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“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”
Though this mantra of frustrated parents through the ages seems like a cliche, it touches on one of the central paradoxes of risky behavour: the existence of “risk gaps” between the kind of risky behaviour we would recommend for others versus the kind we engage in personnally. As one example, while nine out of ten drivers support laws banning texting while driving, up to eighty percent of the population has done it occasionally. The same gap exists for many other risky behaviours, things that we know are illegal or dangerous but which we might engage in all the same. This can include impaired driving, not wearing a seatbelt while driving, smoking, etc.
Research into risky decision-making suggests that we are more impartial when asked to evaluate risk for other people than we are when we do these risky behaviours ourselves.