Naming Bias

A National Geographic article (link in comments) explains why hurricanes with female names have, on average, killed more people than those with male ones.

Generally, how people respond to hurricane threats, and their subsequent decisions are influenced by their prior experience, sources of information, etc. Again, it is in these moments of quick decision-making that our unconscious biases also hit the shore.

“.. unfortunate stereotypes link men with strength and aggression, and women with warmth and passivity. Thanks to these biases, people might take greater precautions to protect themselves from Hurricane Victor, while reacting more apathetically to Hurricane Victoria.”

As the article suggests and from the lessons of Boston Symphony (link in comments), perhaps move away from naming conventions that require human names and instead use labels that convey the storm’s severity?

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