How Psychological Biases Make Good Government Unlikely
December 28, 2012
Answer this question on paper without looking up the answer: Q: Which kills more people: guns or diabetes? Here’s what your brain is doing. It’s searching your memory for mentions of the keywords: “guns,” “diabetes,” and “kill.” For most of us, one of the variables—guns or diabetes—carries a significantly heavier emotional weighting than the other. A paid-up-for-life member of the NRA might attach powerful positive emotions to “guns.” The parent of a child who died of complications of diabetes will attach high negative emotions to “diabetes.