Chapter

Can International Law Stop Genocide When Our Moral Intuitions Fail Us?

Paul Slovic and David Zionts

in Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195371895
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979127 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371895.003.0005
Can International Law Stop Genocide When Our Moral Intuitions Fail Us?

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In Chapter 5, psychologist Paul Slovic and legal scholar David Zionts discuss psychological constraints that impede individuals' ability to respond to the plight of large numbers of people. As a result, individuals price lives differently depending on the numbers involved—specifically, they succumb to a numbing effect whereby they register a greater emotional and financial response to the loss of a few than to the loss of many.

Keywords: psychic numbing; statistical life; availability heuristic; mass atrocity; genocide; reporting; cost–benefit analysis; framing effects

Chapter.  11371 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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