The Availability of Terror

odds-of-airborne-terror2We talk a lot about the availability bias here on Neuroworld, so I don’t think I have to tell you how much you overestimate the possibility of being on a plane brought down by terrorism. Still, it’s worth taking a look at this graphic, via Gawker and based on data put together by Nate Silver:

Now, look at that graph, and decide which is the better response to terror:

  1. Panic and yell and scream from the rooftops that we’re all about to be killed by Al Qaeda, or
  2. Handle terrorism as a law-enforcement and intelligence matter.

Sure, I’m tipping the scales with my own biases. But the data really speaks for itself.