Browse Definitions:
Definition

reality check

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A reality check is a second opinion, either requested or provided voluntarily, about the status of some current situation. Reality checks are similar to fact checking but are less formal.

When a reality check is volunteered, it's typically because the person offering it believes the person or organization in question is significantly mistaken about something. In a situation where someone asks another person for a reality check, it may be because they're dealing with a complex issue and are aware of the potential for errors.

In content creation, for example, errors can include simple typos, misinformation and slanted arguments resulting from cognitive bias. The four eyes principle -- a requirement that two people review a document -- is a type of reality check designed  to detect such errors so they don't appear in the final version. For important matters, it may be advisable to seek expert advice.

Reality checks are particularly important in business, where overconfidence often leads to a lack of preparedness and an inability to deal with setbacks. In a recent study exploring the expectations of 2994 entrepreneurs, for example, 81 percent of respondents rated their startups' odds of success at better than 7 out of 10, while 33 percent rated their chances at 10 out of 10, with no possibility of failure. In actuality, a significant number of startups never get traction and only one in 10 of those that do launch is still in business after five years. In this scenario, a reality check could consist of having an analyst evaluate your business plan and suggest areas that need improvement.  

 

This was last updated in March 2017

Continue Reading About reality check

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • computer exploit

    A computer exploit, or exploit, is an attack on a computer system, especially one that takes advantage of a particular ...

  • cyberwarfare

    Cyberwarfare is computer- or network-based conflict involving politically motivated attacks by a nation-state on another ...

  • insider threat

    Insider threat is a generic term for a threat to an organization's security or data that comes from within.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • SATA Express (SATAe)

    SATA Express (SATAe or Serial ATA Express) is a bus interface to connect storage devices to a computer motherboard, supporting ...

  • DIMM (dual in-line memory module)

    A DIMM (dual in-line memory module) is the standard memory card used in servers and PCs.

  • nearline storage

    Nearline storage is the on-site storage of data on removable media.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • 3D XPoint

    3D XPoint is memory storage technology jointly developed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc.

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close