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Embracing the Uncertainties

Ambiguity Aversion

Uncertainty triggers an ambiguity aversion (a preference for known risks over unknown risks) among people as they feel unsettled and in limbo due to the lack of sure footing of information.

A study suggests that it is better to be completely transparent about the uncertainty than to be ambiguous.

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Embracing the Uncertainties

Embracing the Uncertainties

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/science/coronavirus-uncertainty-scientific-trust.html

nytimes.com

4

Key Ideas

An Uncertain World

The ongoing epidemic, due to its unknown nature, has provided us with a lot of uncertainties related to the characteristics, severity, mortality rate, infectious rate and spread of the disease. These uncertainties make it all the more deadly.

Conflicting guidelines (like on the use of masks) and ad hoc statements have made many people skeptical of the experts, in this post-truth society.


Kinds of Uncertainty

  • Epistemic Uncertainty: Uncertain information and data about the past or present, which can be unraveled by using measuring tools.
  • Aleatory Uncertainty: The unknown things about the future related to randomness, luck, chance or indeterminacy.
  • Deep Uncertainty: Also called radical uncertainty, it is a state in which there are so many unknown things that the future looks like an abyss.

Statistics Vs The Truth

In statistical science, risk is an important uncertainty, but a comparing of risks sometimes does not take into account certain human factors, leading to misinformation or even disinformation. This is due to the statistical models being oversimplifications of the real world.

Statistical data is a ‘Map’, not the actual territory.

Ambiguity Aversion

Uncertainty triggers an ambiguity aversion (a preference for known risks over unknown risks) among people as they feel unsettled and in limbo due to the lack of sure footing of information.

A study suggests that it is better to be completely transparent about the uncertainty than to be ambiguous.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Follow the Rules

This is the most important thing you can do t help health care providers and emergency workers: Stay home! And if you really need to get out,  maintain social distance.
Also, take a ...

Help Procure The Needed P.P.E.

The virus has exposed all front-line workers to an extreme shortage of masks, gowns and similar protective equipment.

Some providers have taken the unprecedented step of begging on social media for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Repurpose a Hobby or Skill

  • If you like to sew, join the existent movement to make masks for hospital workers. Cloth masks don’t meet N95 safety standards, but providers may use them if they’re all they have available.
  • People with a 3-D printing hobby are also stepping up, turning out masks and face shields based on open-source designs.

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Panic Buying

Panic Buying

The world is seeing panic buying in supermarkets, with items like toilet paper, milk, soda, hand sanitizers, etc. flying off the shelves, especially in places with confirmed cases of the virus.

...

Downsides of Panic Buying

  • Panic buying makes people feel in charge of the situation, while seemingly mundane measures like hand-washing, which are actually impactful, seem ordinary.
  • The problem comes when people overbuy in their over-panicked state of mind (irrational stockpiling), making the shortages worse than they really are.
  • Speculators also take advantage of panic buying and raise prices of essential items like face masks, forcing companies to take appropriate measures.

Loss Aversion

..is a principle which makes people do things so that they don't feel regretful later. 

People are panic-buying for the same reason too, with social media and news media amplifying the sense of scarcity.

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A panic attack

The current pandemic is affecting the entire globe. As a result, many people may be experiencing panic attacks for the first time.

A panic attack happens suddenly, with short-lived disabl...

The body's response

A perceived threat may activate the body's physiological "fight or flight" response, similar to what your body would do if you're near a tiger. Your heart starts racing and pumping blood, so your muscles have the fuel to run or fight. 

Panic attacks are relatively common. One in four Americans will have at least one panic attack in their lives. But the pandemic seems to be causing many people to suffer panic attacks within a short time.

Panic attack symptoms

The tightening of the chest and breathing difficulties are often confused for symptoms of the new virus.

Panic attacks come on suddenly and typically last only 15 to 20 minutes, while symptoms of the virus emerge over a few days. With the virus, you will also have other symptoms, like a fever and a cough.

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