Nuclear Power and Dread Risk

The eminent cognitive psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer wrote a classic article back in 2004 for the journal Psychological Science which, I believe, explains a bizarre fact about America energy policy.In "Dread Risk, September 11, and Fatal Traffic Accidents," Gigerenzer defines "dread risk events" as ones that are very rare but have major negative consequences.  The terrorist attacks on 9/11 are a perfect illustration of dread risk.  Terrorist hijackings are quite infrequent, but when they happen, they can lead to a large number of deaths -- a dreadful result.  Because of this, dread risks are extraordinarily salient and vividly striking to people who witness them.  What American who lived through 9/11 has forgotten the horrific images of those planes flying into buildings and people being forced to leap to their deaths to avoid incineration?But the very salience of the event deformed people's prudential judgments.  Millions of people for...(Read Full Article)

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