55. Sensation of invulnerability through survival

The natural overconfidence of the young professional is aggravated from the observation selection effect which consists of the experience that, for example, at war after a certain duration without wounds, soldiers start to feel “invulnerability,” and will take increasingly risky maneuvers34. The same could occur with civilization—the longer period of time we go without nuclear war, the more complacent we will be about it, and the more brinksmanship we will be willing to undergo because it hasn't happened yet. This is distinguished from the prior point in that the salient factor is length of time of survival rather than skill level.