The Packet Post ‘Morning Show’ Explores ‘Psychic Numbing’ In Response to Pandemic Death Toll

‘Morning Show’ Explores ‘Psychic Numbing’ In Response to Pandemic Death Toll

by: Jessica Harrington

‘Morning Show’ Explores ‘Psychic Numbing’

In Response to Pandemic Death Toll

Paul Slovic, a professor at the University of Oregon, will visit the ‘Morning Show’ on Thursday, February 4th to discuss his research on psychological factors that contribute to apathy in response to large scale human suffering such as the massive pandemic death toll.

Host Mary Jacobsen will interview Slovic about his finding that as the number of people in danger goes up, “psychic numbing” overwhelms our capacity to care and intervene.

Failing to act in response to large scale catastrophes isn’t in itself a moral failing, according to Slovic, who points out that people mobilize aid when we encounter an individual in danger. But ‘compassion collapse’ due to psychic numbing has troubling moral consequences when the result is inaction in the face of humanitarian challenges.

Slovic notes that Stalin famously observed, “An individual death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.” By promoting awareness of psychic numbing on his Arithmetic of Compassion website, Slovic hopes to reverse its impact, enabling us to respond as urgently to the tragedy of a million deaths as much as we do to one.

“The Morning Show” airs Thursday at 9 a.m. on Channel 9 and WJOP (FM 96.3) and live streams on YouTube (click on the YouTube icon at After broadcast, the show is available on the YouTube Playlist for “The Morning Show.”

Each show will also air on WJOP on Friday at 8 a.m. and the next Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m., and is available on the Sound Cloud (click on the cloud icon at


For more information contact:

Mary Jacobsen

(978)255- 7523


Sarah Hayden

Executive Director

Greater Newburyport Community Media




Jessica Harrington

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