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Is it me or is the Swine Flu waaay overrated? A case of the Availability Heuristic. [Of Two Minds]

I think it's a bit like terrorism. It scares the shit out of you but there's next to zero chance it will actually happen to you. Seriously... you have a much much higher chance of choking on a twinky (even if you've never eaten one) than catching the swine flu and dying or being or even seeing a terrorist attack. Talk about a great case of the Availability Heuristic...

Here's a demo for you to try out (I use this to teach Psych 100). The correct answers are below the fold.

Which is the more common cause of death in the USA?

1.
A) Asthma
B) Meningitis

2.
A) Breast Cancer
B) Stomach Cancer

3.
A) Lung Cancer
B) Motor Vehicle Accidents

4.
A)Influenza (the flu)
B) Stomach Ulcer

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More Stories By Swine Influenza News

Swine influenza virus (referred to as SIV) refers to influenza cases that are caused by Orthomyxoviruses that are endemic to pig populations. SIV strains isolated to date have been classified either as Influenzavirus C or one of the various subtypes of the genus Influenzavirus A. The 2009 swine flu outbreak is the spread of a new strain of H1N1 influenza virus that was first detected by public health agencies in March 2009. Local outbreaks of influenza-like illness were detected in three areas in Mexico, but the presence of this new strain was not discovered for a full month.

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