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Which are deadlier: sharks or horses? (availability heuristic)

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Published on May 25, 2012

Help us caption and translate this video on Amara.org: http://www.amara.org/en/v/BfbN/

Which do you think is more common: suicide or homicide? By how much? See below for answer.

CogSai is about cognitive science — a combination of psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, pedagogy, economics, and lots of unique combinations, like behavioral economics and neural theories of language. We'll have a wide variety of videos, including short illustrated explanations, live interviews with researchers, and group discussions.

This video is a collaboration between Sai and Henry Reich of http://youtube.com/MinutePhysics — be sure to subscribe to his channel if you haven't already. ;-)

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Relevant comics:
Zach Weiner http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?...
Tony Piro http://calamitiesofnature.com/archive...


So, which is it? Let's look at the numbers.

Top 15 causes of US deaths, 2007:
25.4% heart disease
23.2% cancer
5.6% stroke
5.3% respiratory
5.1% accidents
3.1% Alzheimer's
2.9% diabetes
2.2% flu & pneumonia
1.9% kidney disease
1.4% septicemia
1.4% suicide
1.2% liver disease
1.0% hypertension
0.8% Parkinson's
0.8% homicide
source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvs...

Suicide is almost twice as common as homicide, for the whole population.

What about ages 15-24? Top causes:
37.4% accidents
13.1% homicide (41.5% for black males 12-19yo)
9.7% suicide
3.9% cancer
2.6% heart disease
0.5% stroke
see also http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databrie...

Homicide is a much more common cause of death for young adults — especially young black males. :-/

Did you guess right?
Can you think of any other examples of the availability heuristic misguiding your sense of how often things happen?

Answer in the comments below!

Help us caption & translate this video!

http://amara.org/v/BfbN/

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