Likely from heart disease or cancer, which is what 52% of the world’s 8 billion people will die from, no matter their age or homeland. But most of us don’t believe that. We reliably underestimate the fact that cancer and heart disease will take one in two of us. We also chronically overestimate how many people will die via murder, auto accidents, drug and alcohol addiction, terrorism and even lightning.
In other words, we don’t die from what we think we will die from. The idea that people are wrong about important things – always wrong, wrong everywhere – comes with some big costs, like spending less money on cancer and heart disease than we should. But it also prompted the polling firm, Ipsos, to start a series in 2012 called the Perils of Perception to explore the yawning gap between what is demonstrably true and what people think is true. Subjects range from climate change and fake news, to obesity and the very rich.
Two years ago, Ipsos asked people in 40 countries why “they’re so wrong about things like causes of death, climate change, the sex lives of young people, immigrant numbers, overcrowding in prisons and much more.” Yes, it was done before COVID hit. But again, rather than nullifying the validity of a global survey, it may confirm this one’s central thesis.
Question: How many people die every year?
To view this post, click here.
Upcoming RamsayTalk Event
Helen Walsh will launch her propulsive Canadian thriller Pull Focus at the next RamsayTalk on Monday, September 27 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. ET.