"Familiar risks" are more easily accepted than "new and unfamiliar risks"


There is also a psychological bias that makes individuals routinely accept "familiar risks" which (1) appear to be within their control and that (2) kill individuals rather than groups of people (for example, driving a car, taking a shower, or stepping on a ladder) (see also Douglas & Wildavsky, 1982). Since individuals consider themselves as being relatively careful and strong, they believe that they are not in particular danger, or that they are in control over these risks (which usually is not the case). On the other hand, individuals "overrate the new and unfamiliar risks" with a potential to kill many people, including, as mentioned previously, terrorists, plane crashes, and nuclear reactor accidents (see Diamond, 2012, pp. 317-318).

Note: See source document for full reference.

Applicable to: