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Risk Perception

Bad Weather and Sexism Lethal Combo

Paul Spector, M.D. | Posted 06.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Paul Spector, M.D.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Bring social science and...

The Great Portland Pee: The Psychological Power of Disgust That Discourages Water Recycling

David Ropeik | Posted 06.18.2014 | Green
David Ropeik

If you're running a little short on potable water, you might want to take some empty jugs up to Portland, Oregon, where for the next few days, they will be throwing away 38 million gallons of water

The Oso Mudslide: Why Do We Live in Harm's Way?

David Ropeik | Posted 03.31.2014 | Green
David Ropeik

Not everyone who lives in areas at risk for potentially deadly natural events does so voluntarily, of course. But many do, and they all use a variety of subconscious cognitive tools that allow them the choice of living in a place they like, but which could kill them.

It's Time to Hold Accountable Advocates Who, in Pursuit of Their Values, Put Us at Risk

David Ropeik | Posted 05.19.2014 | Politics
David Ropeik

Golden rice is still not in use anywhere, because of opposition to GM (genetic modification) technology. Now two German economists have quantified the price of that opposition, in human health, and the numbers are truly frightening.

Dads' Biological Clocks: The Risks Are Huge. Or Are They?

Paul Raeburn | Posted 04.30.2014 | Parents
Paul Raeburn

It might come as a relief to some women that they are not alone with respect to these difficult decisions. But is that reason to cheer?

Are Indian Companies Facing a Global Trust Deficit?

Shehzad H. Qazi | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Shehzad H. Qazi

Trust in Indian firms has declined over the past two years. While in 2010 and 2011 India was the most trusted emerging market country, in 2013 it has fallen even below the emerging market average.

GMO Labeling: An Open Letter to BigAgTech CEOs

David Ropeik | Posted 11.06.2013 | Green
David Ropeik

A sincere investment of corporate money and influence to support labeling and really fight for it -- not just some easy greenwash PR only stating support for labeling -- could have a huge positive impact on public sentiment toward GMOs.

Environmental Carcinogenesis -- Separating Fact From Fiction

James M. Gentile | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
James M. Gentile

One can hardly read a newspaper, turn on the radio or a television station, or surf the Internet without finding a myriad of information concerning yet another physical, chemical, or biological agent in our environment that can 'cause cancer.'

An Explanation for the Blatant Irrationality of the 'Shutdowners'

David Ropeik | Posted 12.03.2013 | Politics
David Ropeik

The most puzzling thing about the madness of the arch conservatives who have taken America hostage is, how can they be so deep inside their own extremist ideological worldview that they can't see that what they are doing is self-destructive?

Fear Shuts Down Boston

David Ropeik | Posted 06.19.2013 | Politics
David Ropeik

Our responses may not make intellectual sense tomorrow, or whenever this calms down (hopefully with no or minimal additional violence), when we can look back at things in the cool calm of rational hindsight, but they make emotional sense now. Because we are afraid.

Design Performance, Risk Perception & Preferences

Soren Petersen | Posted 05.07.2013 | Business
Soren Petersen

The best strategy seems to be taking more risk early on in the process when exploring opportunities and then continuously clarifying and reducing risk as criteria and design crystallize.

On the Cognitive and Historic Roots of Our Destructive Modern Polarization

David Ropeik | Posted 04.13.2013 | Politics
David Ropeik

Maybe understanding the historic events and behavioral roots that have produced these venomously angry polarized times can help us let go of at least a little of our own deep instinct to align with the tribe in the name of safety and protection.

Here's Something to Really Worry About -- More of Us Are Worried

David Ropeik | Posted 04.02.2013 | Politics
David Ropeik

It is hardly news that America has become more divided. But this survey offers fresh support that these divisions are not about gun control or abortion or any of the individual issues we fight about, but about deeper dissatisfactions and worries.

Extreme Breast Cancer Prevention: Should At-Risk Women Have Both Breasts Removed?

Barron H. Lerner | Posted 03.16.2013 | Healthy Living
Barron H. Lerner

The news that 24-year-old Allyn Rose, Miss District of Columbia in this year's Miss America competition, is planning to have both of her breasts removed in the near future is the latest case of what we might call "extreme breast cancer prevention."

In the Instant: Guns and the Irrational Perception of Risk

Michael J. O'Neil | Posted 03.09.2013 | Politics
Michael J. O'Neil

That image of a home intruder is terrifying. Many people arm themselves in response to it, ignoring clear data that weapons at home put the armed homeowner and his family at far greater risk of injury from a momentarily furious spouse or a curious child.

The Baumgartner Jump: We Were All Afraid! Why?

David Ropeik | Posted 12.16.2012 | Science
David Ropeik

What a fantastic demonstration of the animal wiring of the human brain when it comes to fear. What a thrill! For Felix, sure, but for us too.

Fearless Living Boot Camp, Day 7: Build Your Support System (VIDEO)

Rhonda Britten | Posted 11.16.2012 | Healthy Living
Rhonda Britten

When you get fearless, your confidence rises. You trust yourself. And the best part? Fear takes a back seat and you can be up front in your life and choose the path you want to take without fear messing it up.

Fearless Living Boot Camp, Day 6: Pay Attention To Your Fear (VIDEO)

Rhonda Britten | Posted 11.15.2012 | Healthy Living
Rhonda Britten

If you've ever called yourself a name or put yourself down or stopped yourself in any way, that is the ol' ring of fear that is holding your good back. Yes, your good. It's right there on the other side of fear.

Fearless Living Boot Camp, Day 5: The Die Zone, Defined (VIDEO)

Rhonda Britten | Posted 11.14.2012 | Healthy Living
Rhonda Britten

Yep. We are here at the DIE Zone. It's not so scary once you get the hang of it. And I want you to know it inside out.

Fearless Living Boot Camp, Day 4: The Risk Zone (VIDEO)

Rhonda Britten | Posted 11.13.2012 | Healthy Living
Rhonda Britten

Risk is a necessity to being fearless. And it's a precursor to being happy. That's right. You heard me. You can't be happy if you aren't willing to risk.

Calculated Risk: Wild Dogs, Caged Monkeys and... Texting?

Dr. Gregory Jantz, Ph.D. | Posted 10.21.2012 | Healthy Living
Dr. Gregory Jantz, Ph.D.

Sometimes it works to take a calculated risk. Sometimes it doesn't. The challenge is to decide when you can't be wrong.

Fear of Climate Change May Finally Be Trumping Ideological Denial

David Ropeik | Posted 09.10.2012 | Green
David Ropeik

The brain relies on several instincts to help us survive, and sometimes they conflict. One fear can literally contradict another. That's the case with climate change. The bad news is that at this point, the wrong ones are winning. The good news is, things may be changing.

The Problem Is Relative

H. Gilbert Welch | Posted 08.21.2012 | Healthy Living
H. Gilbert Welch

Numerous studies have shown that the general public has exaggerated perceptions of the health risks they face -- as well as exaggerated expectations of the benefit of medical care.

If Only People Understood Science Better...

Astrid Caldas | Posted 08.01.2012 | Green
Astrid Caldas

When it comes to climate change, how we communicate matters much more than what we communicate.

Dangerous Playgrounds Are Good for Your Kids

Darell Hammond | Posted 06.25.2012 | Parents
Darell Hammond

We as a country have taken playground safety too far. We have crossed the line from common sense to that murky "What if?" territory in which we imagine every conceivable accident.