It's quite likely that the human toll from COVID-19 will not be as bad as the prediction models forecasted. That's because models contain simplifying assumptions that rarely hold true in the real world; our human response is probably the least predictable of all. And yet, while all models are useful, all models are also wrong.
A new study shows that when we mentally tally expert opinions, we treat numeric predictions differently than those predicted by words. One of those expressions moves us towards a more extreme prediction offered by experts.