Friday, 29 July 2011

Using reason to contest overblown concerns (Part 5 of 8)

2. OBJECTIVITY VERSUS CULTURAL BIAS. The perception of risk is heavily influenced by cultural stereotypes. Saving rates differ from country to country according to how citizens see their future; the willingness to change jobs and move to a distant city is higher in the US than in Europe; the proportion of the population that invests in the stock market also varies from country to country.

3. EMOTIONAL VERSUS MATERIAL DAMAGE. Potential dangers need to be quantified in order to be properly assessed. If emotions take control, they will exaggerate the negative consequences of risk. On many occasions, the material damages that people actually suffer are minor compared to the accompanying psychological discomfort.

To be continued in the next post.


[Image by paalia under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]