26 de març 2015

The identified person bias

Identified versus Statistical Lives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

The concept:
The identified person bias: A greater inclination to assist (and avoid harming) persons and groups identified as those at high risk of great harm than to assist (and avoid harming) persons and groups who will suffer (or already suffer) similar harm but are not identified (as yet).
 The issues:
  1. When precisely does the identified person bias arise? And what exactly does it consist in? For example, is it simply a matter of a very human response to the vivid human faces of people with personal stories, in the hospital ward or on TV screens? Is it something that arises only when the risks are known, only under strict  uncertainty, or regardless of how much we can specify the risk? Does that bias arise only when few victims are involved?
  2. What, if anything, might justify giving priority to identified persons at risk?
  3. What would be the practical implications for law, public health, medicine, and the environment of accepting the priority given to identified persons, or of forsaking it—if we could successfully do so?
The book, a must read: