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.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

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

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • hot plugging

    Hot plugging is the addition of a component to a running computer system without significant interruption to the operation of the...

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification and is used in internally mounted ...

  • kilobyte (KB or Kbyte)

    A kilobyte (KB or Kbyte) is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science ...

Close