The visibility bias

This post is the first post in the bias category.

One liner

visibility bias

Our brain creates a narrative based on what we see more often.

More liner

Our brain creates a narrative based on what we see more often, ordering the frequency of events incorrectly.

For example, as a plane crash is more visible than car accidents, we tend to think planes are less secure than cars due to the visibility bias.

Another example, about death. The media tend to focus on sensational news, so we see way more planes crash than car accidents, making us think planes are more dangerous than cars. As this article says: “the truth is, according to statistics from the United States government, flying on a plane on average is overwhelmingly safer than driving a car.”

Some more data and a hint of visibility bias in this other article Still, your odds of dying in a car crash are 1 in 114, while your odds of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 9,821. … But even more than that, popular news coverage makes plane crashes sound far more common than they really are. Most car crashes—even fatal ones—aren’t going to make the news, simply because they’re so common (and don’t usually affect large numbers of people).

PS: thanks to Loic to catch the sentence where I wrote “planes are more dangerous than planes”. Doh!

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