Donald Low

Donald Low

Why we can’t think straight about the coronavirus (and what to do about it)
The ongoing novel coronavirus crisis is an opportunity to reflect on how we respond to risk and uncertainty, as well as how governments should communicate risks, in an environment of uncertainty and incomplete and imperfect information. Behavioral scientists have long contended that people often find it very difficult to think in statistical or probabilistic terms, so have highlighted a number of ways in which people’s responses and behaviors depart from what rational choice models predict. Consider this thought experiment, which is sometimes known as the “Linda problem.” Linda is single, outspoken, and deeply engaged with social issues. Which is more likely: A) Linda is a bank manager; or