Four Reasons Our Brains Suck At Pandemics

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MinuteEarth
Published at : 13 Feb 2021
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You can read Bill & Melinda Gates' 2021 letter at http://gatesnot.es/3opAPWK
Certain cognitive biases cause humans to make unsafe decisions in a pandemic, making a terrible disease even worse.

LEARN MORE
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To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Pandemic: A disease outbreak that spreads across the world.
Exponential Growth: Growth that occurs when a value increases in proportion to its current value.
Exponential Growth Prediction Bias: An error in prediction that occurs when people underestimate how quickly numbers rise in an exponential system.
Optimism Bias: An error that occurs when people underestimate their personal likelihood of experiencing a negative event.
Hyperbolic Time Discounting Bias: An error that occurs when people choose smaller rewards in the present over larger awards in the future.
Reactance Psychology: An unpleasant motivational state that occurs when a freedom is threatened with elimination.
Individualism: The principle of being independent and self-reliant.
Collectivism: The principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.
Disinformation: Deliberately false information designed to deceive.

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David Goldenberg | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Arcadi Garcia Rius | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

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REFERENCES
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Ritwik Banerjee, Joydeep Bhattacharya, Priyama Majumdar (2021). Exponential-growth prediction bias and compliance with safety measures related to COVID-19. Social Science & Medicine, 268. Retrieved from:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953620306924?via%3Dihub.

IHME COVID-19 Forecasting Team., Reiner, R.C., Barber, R.M. et al. (2020). Modeling COVID-19 scenarios for the United States. Nat Med 27, 94–105. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-1132-9.

Steindl, C., Jonas, E., Sittenthaler, S., Traut-Mattausch, E., & Greenberg, J. (2015). Understanding Psychological Reactance: New Developments and Findings. Zeitschrift fur Psychologie, 223(4), 205–214. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1027/2151-2604/a000222

Joris Lammers, Jan Crusius, and Anne Gast. (2020). Correcting misperceptions of exponential coronavirus growth increases support for social distancing.PNAS. 117:8. Retrieved from:
https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/117/28/16264.full.pdf.

Alan, M., Marco, M. (2020). How Your Brain Tricks You Into Taking Risks During the Pandemic. ProPublica. Retrieved from: https://www.propublica.org/article/how-your-brain-tricks-you-into-taking-risks-during-the-pandemic/.

Bottemanne Hugo, Morlaàs Orphée, Fossati Philippe, Schmidt Liane. (2020). Does the Coronavirus Epidemic Take Advantage of Human Optimism Bias? Frontiers in Psychology. 11. Retrieved from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02001/full

Soofi, M., Najafi, F. & Karami-Matin, B. (2020). Using Insights from Behavioral Economics to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19. Appl Health Econ Health Policy 18, 345–350. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40258-020-00595-4
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