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Why pandemics and climate change are hard to understand, and can we help?

Alan Dix

Computational Foundry, Swansea Universty, Wales

The complex issues that define our age, Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and Brexit cause confusion amongst politicians and vice chancellors as well as the general public. This talk explores some of the cognitive barriers to understanding these issues including diffuse responsibility, exponential growth, essentialist thinking, and network feedback effects. More important I will ask whether as HCI researchers and interaction designers, we can contribute towards tools and techniques to help.

Keywords: cognitive bias, quantitative-quantitative reasoning, numeracy, Covid-19, coronavirus, climate change



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