What's the Worst That Can Happen?

Lee Clarke

in Worst Cases

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780226108599
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226108605 | DOI:
What's the Worst That Can Happen?

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This chapter examines the factors and processes in how worst cases are imagined. It analyzes the mental and institutional mechanisms at work when people imagine things. It suggests that whether we are looking forward in anticipation or looking back to make sense of a situation the imagination is at work, holding some factors at bay while highlighting others, creating scenarios and then trying to convince ourselves and others of their reasonableness. This chapter also explores the relation between cognitive resilience and virtual worst cases, and explains how to tell a good “what if” from a bad one.

Keywords: worst cases; imagination; cognitive resilience; what if; mental mechanisms; institutional mechanisms

Chapter.  15295 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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