Political polarization distorts risk perception

September 15, 2020

Academic research has shown that perceptions of risk of COVID-19 varies with the level of support for President Trump. It doesn’t require much of a leap of imagination that perceptions of risk regarding other highly politicized issues such as crime and climate change evince a similar pattern. 

Why does it matter? People’s behavior and actions are influenced by their risk perceptions. This affects their own welfare. If you don’t think COVID-19 is a threat — and it really is — you are more likely to go out in crowds and get sick. If you do think COVID-19 is a threat — and it really isn’t — you are more likely to keep your kids out of school when they don’t need to be. 

Op-ed by Stuart Shapiro, The Hill, September 14, 2020

Recent Posts

NJSPL – New Jersey Employment Concerns Revisited

As 2024 began with yet another surprisingly strong jobs report for the U.S. (353,000 jobs added in January and the unemployment rate steady at 3.7%), and with a full year’s worth of 2023 state-level employment data now available, it’s worth briefly revisiting some of...

New Research: The Traffic Calming Effect of Delineated Bicycle Lanes

Abstract We analyze the effect of a bicycle lane on traffic speeds. Computer vision techniques are used to detect and classify the speed and trajectory of over 9,000 motor-vehicles at an intersection that was part of a pilot demonstration in which a bicycle lane was...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Career Virtual Drop-ins


Bloustein Career Development Specialists Cheryl Egan and Andrea Garrido will be in a Zoom Room on Monday's beginning January 22, 2024 (excluding holidays and spring break) to answer questions, provide […]