Just for the record, I'm going to write a book called "The Evolution of Risk" about how our brains are poorly wired to deal with today's financial products' risk/return information. I've been reading quite a bit about both the brain and the history of risk/finance and it's clear there one drives the other. My hypothesis is that our essentially caveman brains, which are designed for short term rewards, don't do a great job processing information regarding long term finances and their associated risks.
There is clearly some nature/nurture argument going one here, as I would imagine that if you're brought up in a "financially savvy" environment (whatever that is) you have a better understanding of the landscape. Needs a little research.