10 Ways We Get Things Wrong

Psychology Today has an interesting article on fear, probability, and how we get things wrong. It’s not a very scannable article, so here’s an executive summary:

  1. We Fear Snakes, Not Cars – Risk and emotion are inseparable
  2. We Fear Spectacular, Unlikely EventsFear skews risk analysis in predictable ways
  3. We Fear Cancer But Not Heart DiseaseWe underestimate threats that creep up on us
  4. No Pesticide in My Backyard—Unless I Put it ThereWe prefer that which (we think) we can control
  5. We Speed Up When We Put Our Seatbelts OnWe substitute one risk for another
  6. Teens May Think Too Much About Risk—And Not Feel EnoughWhy using your cortex isn’t always smart
  7. Why Young Men Will Never Get Good Rates on Car InsuranceThe “risk thermostat” varies widely
  8. We Worry About Teen Marijuana Use, But Not About Teen SportsRisk arguments cannot be divorced from values
  9. We Love Sunlight But Fear Nuclear PowerWhy “natural” risks are easier to accept
  10. We Should Fear Fear Itself – Why worrying about risk is itself risky



One response to “10 Ways We Get Things Wrong”

  1. Psychology Today has a great article about the errors in reasoning that (vestigial) fear causes us to make […]