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Why Are People Having Trouble Making Sense of COVID?

Bioethics Academic Director Dr. Robert Klitzman discusses how biases are at work in the current public health crisis in an op-ed for Psychology Today.

As the coronavirus escalates in the United States, the public is responding in two very different ways. While some voluntarily shelter in place, and take all necessary precautions to stay healthy, others are going about business as usual, more readily taking on risk. 

Psychologists have shown how humans have difficulty processing complex risks.

We frequently fail to perceive risks rationally, and commonly under or over-estimate them, biased by our own personal experiences.

Dr. Robert Klitzman, Psychology Today -

Dr. Klitzman urges readers to consider one another's varying responses in these anxious times. "In the upcoming months, many of us will have to make multiple tough decisions, and live with the consequences.  We must each manage these risks as rationally as we can, and encourage others around us to do so as well," he writes. 


Read the full article in Psychology Today and learn more about the M.S. in Bioethics at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies.