What is ‘scope neglect’ in psychology?

July 20, 2018 02:15 am | Updated 02:15 am IST

Also known as scope insensitivity, this refers to a cognitive bias which makes people incapable of properly understanding the size of problems. This can cause their response to problems to be disproportionate to the size of the problems. So even when there is an exponential increase in the scope of a problem, the response of people to the problem may only be linear in nature. This was proved by William H. Desvousges and other researchers in their 1992 study “Measuring Nonuse Damages Using Contingent Valuation”. The researchers studied what people were ready to pay to save migrating birds from devastating oil spills.

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