I think it’s a bit like terrorism. It scares the shit out of you but there’s next to zero chance it will actually happen to you. Seriously… you have a much much higher chance of choking on a twinky (even if you’ve never eaten one) than catching the swine flu and dying or being or even seeing a terrorist attack. Talk about a great case of the Availability Heuristic…
Here’s a demo for you to try out (I use this to teach Psych 100). The correct answers are below the fold.
Which is the more common cause of death in the USA?
A) Breast Cancer
B) Stomach Cancer
A) Lung Cancer
B) Motor Vehicle Accidents
A)Influenza (the flu)
B) Stomach Ulcer
The correct answers are…
6x as many die from Asthma than from Meningitis
3x more die from stomach cancer than breast
4x more die from lung cancer than car accident
2x more than all types of accidents combined!
2x more die from stomach ulcers than flu
How many did you get right? Let us know in the comments.
Also… just fyi
In the last three days Swine Flu has killed 1 baby while the Real Flu(tm) has killed nearly 300.