Just how good are humans at assessing risk? If you take a close look at some of what most worries people in the developed world - terrorism, plane crashes, child kidnappings, animal attacks - the answer appears to be 'not so good'. In this animation from The Royal Institution in London, the US scientist and author Jared Diamond recalls how time spent living with a Papua New Guinea tribe made him reassess how he viewed risk in his everyday life, and led him to scrutinise and re-evaluate his Western views of risk.

For more about risk, read Jeff Wheelright's essay 'Risky Medicine', on the hidden cost of medical over-treatment, and Guy Claxton's essay 'Get Your Kicks', on why adolescents are wired to take more risks.

...[Continue reading on Aeon Magazine]