Cognitive Biases on Covid-19

In today’s world most of us are driven by decisions and arguments put forward by others, such as politicians and media. Most of us are emotionally driven and not able to interpret the current situation. We are not capable enough in understanding that this pandemic can occur anytime and sooner it will disappear.The fear of losing our lives,especially our dear ones is what indulges us. There are a lot of common beliefs regarding the spread of corona, with a lot of negativity towards China, where the outbreak started. Many global leaders like the US President have condemned the chinese for having spread this.What we fail to understand is that the virus could have spread from any part of the world.Can we really blame china?

The biases regarding COVID-19 are:

Political Bias: Initially when the outbreak started a lot of countries,including the US didn’t take these conditions severely, many of the media personnels were more interested in showcasing anti-Trump hoaxes and how Trump administration was worse, and even the President himself blamed the Chinese instead of looking towards solutions to save his people. And so the numbers of deaths and affected increased, whereas china controlled the pandemic and reached optimality.

Confirmation Bias: Many a time we tend to take into account information portrayed by media and tweets of politicians, but what we should take in consideration is legitimate proof given by WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is not necessary that whatever shown by the media and tweets are true,because a lot of times these are mere fallacies and personal views to garner people’s attention in enhancing TRP’s and public strength .

Normalcy Bias: Our leaders and medical associates fail to understand that there might be another corona outbreak in the near future and we should be prepared for it. Only after the outbreak,did many countries realize that their medical facilities are inadequate.

probabilistic Bias(Neglect): Using treatment we can’t cure this 100 percent or make the affected cases 0, it all depends with time and data. Till now, lots of facts and data regarding corona are not available, this inadequacy is leading to a lot of wrong judgements based on bias thinking and intuitions, which are to be available. Only when, the probabilistic data is made sufficient then the government and it’s officials could plan for a better decision.

Bandwagon ideas: This idea springs up during times like these. For example,Someone said that spraying cow’s urine at home, gets rid of corona a lot of people believed this and followed up with the procedure and a similar one such as Chloroquine used for treatment is effective for corona as told by another, President Trump believed this conclusion without any research to support the conclusion and ordered India to send these tablets as they were available in huge stocks.

Framing Effect: Now that the damage has been in huge numbers in the USA, with thousands affected everyday the president has taken certain decisions like lockdown of everything to save the economy, which he could have done earlier to prevent it. These decisions are merely done to save reputation.

What I would like to conclude is that emotionally driven beliefs and intuitions to be avoided and data based on probabilistic views especially in times of pandemic outbreak is effective.

Enthusiastic Learner and Explorer of different dimensions.