If Paul Slovic’s research assumptions are correct, there’s a good chance you’ll stop reading this story as soon as you learn what it’s about: genocide in Darfur. In the African country of Sudan, gangs of assassins called Janjaweed have systematically murdered hundreds of thousands of people, with close to another 2 million interned in refugee camps, threatened with death from famine and disease. But as the numbers grow, Americans may be less rather than more inclined to help, according to Slovic, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon and president of Decision Research, a nonprofit institute that studies human decision-making and perceptions of risk.
It’s not that Americans lack compassion […] But in what Slovic labels a “fundamental deficiency in our humanity,” people are much less likely to come to the aid of victims of mass murder.
“Katrina moved us to act, so why not Darfur?” by Paul Slovic
The Register-Guard, September 12, 2005