The details of the Coronavirus story keeps evolving. Don't wear masks unless you have symptoms, then perhaps wear masks, then everybody should wear masks! First it's serious but just the weak and elderly should be really concerned, no wait, then now everybody is at risk. Tough to know what to believe and I don't blame folks for being confused or skeptical as we make our way through choppy uncharted waters.
A lot of us aren't necessarily following every directive. Some states aren't locked down while others are locked down under threat of of being locked up. So- when do we believe the experts and when do we trust our instincts?
In certain situations, it makes sense to trust our gut but a new study shows people tend to do just that in medical emergencies. EurekAlert
summarizes a University of Texas at Arlington study that found that people are more likely to base decisions on anecdotal information instead of facts when they feel anxious and vulnerable.
Science has shown
time and again that emotions are more persuasive than facts. Study authors say we are more likely to listen to personal stories instead of facts because emotions run high during medical emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study points out. "that when emotional engagement is low, statistical evidence weighs more heavily......when there is low-threat severity or it's a non-health issue, people tend to take cold, hard facts into account rather than personal accounts and stories," When the threat is severe illness or possible death, emotions kick in and facts take a back seat.