The Value-Wait Principle explains that how long we are willing to wait for something is directly proportional to how much value we place on it. For example, if you paid a $9 purchase with a $50 bill, you would be more likely to wait for your change than if you paid with a $10 bill.

The value in the example above is not only money but one’s time. It likely isn’t worth your time to correct an overcharge of fifty cents, but an overcharge of $100 would certainly be so. When applying this principle, be sure of what value is determining the wait as it may not always be obvious.

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The Overton Window is a concept used to explain what political ideas are palatable in a society. Right wing and left wing are defined by what a particular culture views as conservative or more progressive.

In practice, this means that someone considered far left in America might be only a little left of center in a more liberal nation where the Overton Window is skewed further left. The reverse can also be true. A far right person in America may appear to be a centrist in a nation that already leans heavily to the right. The window is shifted based on what level of discourse is considered appropriate at the time by that particular culture.

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The Lightswitch Principle explains how people, as a rule, don’t really perceive the problems of the wider world so long as the light turns on when they hit the switch.

The lightswitch is the barrier between a problem that exists in theory and one that exists with personal consequences. Nothing is ever really bad so long as the light turns on. Of course, the lightswitch could be anything like food shortages or gasoline lines. Once that invisible line is crossed, something has to be done.

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Elijah Ramirez

Elijah Ramirez

Formerly a high school English teacher, a truck driver, and a direct support professional with disabled individuals. Degrees in English and Secondary Education.