In this December 2015 essay published in the New York Times, Scott Slovic and Paul Slovic explain psychic numbing, pseudoinefficacy, and the prominence effect for a lay audience. The authors provide vivid examples of psychic numbing in action. For instance, they note that although the attention of the world briefly turned to the Syrian refugee crisis when a photograph of Aylan Kurdi was published, 14 Syrian children drowned in the Aegean Sea the very next day. The essay asks, “Did you notice? Did you care?” To learn more about psychic numbing and related phenomena, read on in the New York Times website.
The mission of the Arithmetic of Compassion Website is to raise awareness of psychological obstacles to compassion, including psychic numbing, pseudoinefficacy, and the prominence effect. We also discuss how artists can use literature and art to overcome these obstacles to compassion in our Environmental Humanities page.
Read our Introduction to learn more.
We welcome scholars, journalists, students, and ordinary, concerned citizens to write blogs for our website that connect the concepts of the Arithmetic of Compassion to current events. Contact us at email@example.com to submit a blog.