Researcher says carnage too easy to ignore

The Register-Guard, November 28, 2005

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.

See also:

“Katrina moved us to act, so why not Darfur?” by Paul Slovic
The Register-Guard, September 12, 2005