Description: So now, based on the previous post, you have heard of the Zika virus. While we are safe from this virus in Canada as the mosquitoes which bear it cannot survive here seems to be creeping into the United States where the climate is warmer. From a social psychological, rather than a developmental, perspective it is interesting to reflect upon the impact of a creeping threat on people’s reactions and psychological well-being.
Source: The Great Zika Freakout: A Teaching Moment in the Psychology of Fear, Davind Ropeik, Huffington Science
Date: January 29, 2016
Photo Credit: Christophe Simon Via Getty Images
So imagine that you live in the United States in an area where mosquitoes bearing the Zika virus are encroaching. Think about how you might react to this news. What information would you like to have access to? Where would you look for this information? How calmly and rationally do you think you would be able to evaluate this information? What sort of authorities or sources would you trust to provide you with appropriate information for making up your mind about how to think, feel, and act, in relation to this threat? Finally, are you aware of how you, either like or in contrast to other people, react to the sorts of threats? There is a lot to think about here.
Questions for Discussion:
- How big a risk does the Zika virus represent to those living in areas where mosquitoes bearing the virus live and survive?
- Thinking about the World Health Organization’s reaction to this issue in the way it’s been handled by the director of that organization you think it’s being managed well?
- Should we have specific guidelines readily prepared for how potential threats like this one are approached, and more importantly, about how information related to these threats is compiled and disseminated? What might psychology have to offer this regard?
References (Read Further):
Ropeik, D. (2010). How risky is it, really. Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts. McGraw-Hill Education, New York.