Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Cass R. Sunstein

The Cognitive Bias That Makes Us Panic About Coronavirus

Feeling anxious? Blame "probability neglect."

From Rome to Milan, taking no chances.

From Rome to Milan, taking no chances.

Photographer: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

At this stage, no one can specify the magnitude of the threat from the coronavirus. But one thing is clear: A lot of people are more scared than they have any reason to be. They have an exaggerated sense of their own personal risk.

How come?