The top ten of the availability heuristic

availability

If you ever need to explain the availability heuristic…

…compare opinion polls about controversial topics to reality. From Ipsos MORI: “A new survey by Ipsos MORI for the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London highlights how wrong the British public can be on the make-up of the population and the scale of key social policy issues. The top ten misperceptions are: 1. Teenage pregnancy: on average, we think teenage pregnancy is 25 times higher than official estimates: we think that 15% of girls under 16 get pregnant each year, when official figures suggest it is around 0.6%[i]. 2. Crime: 58% do not believe that crime is falling, when the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that incidents of crime were 19% lower in 2012 than in 2006/07 and 53% lower than in 1995[ii]. 51% think violent crime is rising, when it has fallen from almost 2.5 million incidents in 2006/07 to under 2 million in 2012[iii]. ….[READ]

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