The Science of Fear
“An invaluable resource for anyone who aspires to think clearly” (The Guardian) from the New York Times bestselling author of Superforecasting and Future Babble
From terror attacks to collapsing economies, from painkiller epidemics to mass gun violence and poisonous toys from China, our list of fears seems to be exploding. Yet we are the safest and healthiest humans in history. Why are we so worried?
The Science of Fear is an introduction to the new brain science of risk, dissecting the fears that misguide and manipulate us every day. Award-winning journalist Dan Gardner demonstrates how irrational fear springs from the ways humans miscalculate risks based on our hunter-gatherer brains. With the exclusive cooperation of risk-science pioneer Paul Slovic and other leading experts, Gardner reveals how our “gut” reactions lead us astray. Understanding our irrational fears frees us from political and corporate manipulation, and makes our choices better. Ultimately, The Science of Fear will make you brave.
“Excellent… Analyzes everything from the media’s predilection for irrational scare stories to the cynical use of fear by politicians… [A] cheery corrective to modern paranoia.”—The Economist
“An entertaining, often jolting account of why trivial risks terrify us, even as we engage in wildly dangerous activities with hardly a qualm.”—Kirkus (starred review)
“Elegantly weaves academic research and everyday experience, exposing the secrets of emotion and reason, and the essential roles they play on our lives. An excellent book.”—Dan Ariely, New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational