Psychic Numbing and the Ongoing Genocide in Darfur
Dr. Paul Slovic, Research Scientist
Dr. Ellen Peters, Research Scientist
Publications and Presentations
Slovic, P. (2007) "If I look at the mass I will never act": Psychic numbing and genocide. Judgment and Decision Making, 2, 1-17. Retrieved April 24, 2007 from http://journal.sjdm.org/vol2.2.htm
Michel-Kerjan, E., & Slovic, P. (2010, October 7). The collapse of compassion. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erwann-michelkerjan/pakistan-the-collapse-of-_b_751192.html.
Slovic, P. (2009, October). Can international law stop genocide when our moral intuitions fail us? Paper presented at the Hauser Globalization Colloquium, Fall 2009: International Approaches to International Law, New York.
Slovic, P. (2008, December). Thinking and deciding rationally about catastrophic losses of human lives. Paper presented at "The Irrational Economist," a conference and book writing in honor of Howard Kunreuther, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Slovic, P. (2007, November) Psychic numbing and genocide. APA Psychological Science Agenda, 21. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2007/11/slovic.aspx
Slovic, P. (2007, October 9). Another century of genocide? continues Dr. Slovic's series of posts at The Situationist, The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School.
Slovic, P. (2007, April 20). If I look at the mass I will never act: Psychic numbing and genocide. Presented at The 2007 Princeton Colloquium on Public and International Affairs, Princeton, NJ.
Slovic, P. (2007, April 11). Too many to care. Message posted to The Situationist, The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School.
Slovic, P. (2007, April 7). Genocide: When compassion fails. Retrieved from http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19425985.400-genocide-when-compasstion-fails.html
Slovic, P. (2007, March). Numbed by numbers. Foreign Policy. Retrieved April 4, 2007 from http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3751
Slovic, P. (2006, May 15). Has anything changed in darfur? [Letter to the editor]. The Register Guard.
Wright, Jeff. (2005, November 28).
Researcher says carnage too easy to ignore. The Register Guard, pp. B1, B5.
Slovic, P. (2005, September 12). Katrina moved us to act, so why not Darfur? The Register Guard, p. A11.
- Keith Epstein's spring 2006 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, "Crisis mentality: Why sudden emergencies attract more funds than do chronic conditions, and how nonprofits can change that," includes a nice discussion of our charity research (PDF).
- Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Paul Slovic, "A More Dangerous World: Why We Misunderstand Risk." Newsweek, published online February 19, 2010.
- Nicholas Kristof uses Dr. Slovic's work to support his arguments in his article "Nicholas Kristoff's Advice for Saving the World," Outside Magazine Online, December 2009.
- In November 2009, the Communications Network presented this webinar, Why We Care (And Why We Don't): A Conversation with Dr. Paul Slovic. Thanks to Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog, Getting To the Point, for their positive review and link to this presentation.
- Paul Slovic was interviewed on January 8, 2009 by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC's The Current. Listen to the interview here, in Part 1: Mass Suffering
Emma Janke interviewed Paul Slovic on Sweden's Vetandets Värld February 10, 2009 (mostly in Swedish). Listen here.
- Shankar Vedantam reported on Dr. Slovic's research in the Washington Post Monday, January 5, 2009 in his article entitled "Mass Suffering and Why We Look the Other Way."
- Paul Slovic was interviewed in Sweden in October, 2008, where he participated in the Interdisciplinary Research Conference on the Bystander. Listen to the interview.
- Dr. Steve Shankman interviews Paul Slovic, on the University of Oregon Humanities Center's UO Today television program October 8, 2008. Dr. Slovic discusses his recent research into the psychological factors contributing to public apathy toward genocide. (Length: 28 min)
The player will show in this paragraph
- Six-minute documentary overview of Dr. Slovic's research on psychic numbing and genocide. Produced in the Spring of 2008 by Desiree Aflleje, Emese Foss, and Jon Palfreman.
The player will show in this paragraph
- The National Science Foundation's May 15, 2008 press release "Why Nations Fail to Act" includes coverage of Paul Slovic's work and a video interview in which he discusses psychic numbing, or "why people, who emotionally care for and respond to one person in need, tend to become emotionally numb to many people in need."
- Paul Slovic was interviewed for an article entitled "Why We Don't Care About Darfur" that appeared in the September, 2007 issue of O Magazine on page 236.
- Paul's September 9, 2007 interview with World Vision Report is available here.
- Ellen Peters was interviewed on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation report "Numbed by the Numbers: Tragedies in the News," July 17, 2007.
- Richard Downes interviewed Dr. Slovic on Morning Ireland in a story entitled "Bush announces fresh sanctions against Sudan," May 30, 2007.
- Paul was interviewed for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's "Voices on Genocide Prevention" podcast. Listen to "Mass Murder versus Individual Tragedy," which aired May 24, 2007.
- Andrew Dilnot interviews Paul Slovic and reports on his research on BBC News' More or Less, May 14, 2007. Listen to the program entitled "The science of giving."
- "Save the Darfur Puppy" is Nicholas Kristof's editorial about Dr. Slovic's research, published in the New York Times, May 10, 2007.
- Paul Slovic participated in a panel entitled "The Ethics of Witnessing in the Public Domain," with Jerry Fowler, Nicholas Kristof, and Barbie Zelizer, as part of the University of Oregon's Symposium Witnessing Genocide: Representation and Responsibility, April 30, 2007.
- Dr. Slovic is featured on WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show, April 26, 2007. Listen to the interview, "Underreported: Too Many To Care."
- Bill Radke interviews Paul Slovic for Weekend America, April 7, 2007, in a segment entitled "What Makes a Person Care About Someone Else?"
- Can Google Maps Make People Care About Genocide?, Appscout, April, 2007.
- Paul Slovic is a guest on the the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, January 3rd, 2006. Listen to an archived version of the show here.