The Science of Fear is a disarmingly cheerful roundtrip shuttle to the new brain science, dissecting the fears that misguide and manipulate us every day. As award-winning journalist Daniel Gardner demonstrates, irrational fear springs from how humans miscalculate risks. Our hunter-gatherer brains evolved during the old Stone Age and struggle to make sense of a world utterly unlike the one that made them. Numbers, for instance, confuse us. Our "gut" tells us that even if there aren't "50,000 predators...on the Internet prowling for children," as a recent U.S. Attorney General claimed, then there must be an awful lot. And even if our "head" discovers that the number is baseless and no one actually knows the truth - there could be 100,000 or 500,000 - we are still more fearful simply because we heard the big number. And it is not only politicians and the media that traffic in fearmongering. Corporations fatten their bottom lines with fear. Interest groups expand their influence with fear. Officials boost their budgets with fear. With more information, warnings and scary stories coming at us every day from every direction, we are more prone than ever to needlessly worry.
©2008 Daniel Gardner; (P)2009 Gildan Media Corp
"Excellent.... analyses everything from the media's predilection for irrational scare stories to the cynical use of fear by politicians pushing a particular agenda....What could easily have been a catalogue of misgovernance and stupidity instead becomes a cheery corrective to modern paranoia." (The Economist)
This is a well written explanation of why I'm fearful of a great deal of unlikely scenarios and nonchalant about the extraordinarily dangerous. Even more, the author allows me to understand and sometimes reprogram the collective mind in my workplace and at home to better reflect that which is truly important and that which is not.
The author reveals the "man behind the curtain" in this book. I loved it and highly recommend.
Very interesting and recommended for anyone that has a brain.
Many good examples and very clear explanations of great works such an Cahnman and Tversky's works on perception.
At times a bit repetitive and sometimes falls in love with the ideas a bit too much but in general pretty balanced.
I really enjoyed this book. It presented the material in an innovative way that made it easy to understand
My only real complaint is that it comes off as a little too cynical about politicians and big business that peddle in fear. The reference to cognitive dissonance doesn't really mitigate that in my view
Very much enjoyed this book after picking it up during one of Audible's sales without any particular expectations. Probably the best deal I've gotten here and has made me think about the psychology a little bit more than I had before.
The narrator is horribly annoying, so no matter how good this book might be, I can't tolerate the narrator long enough to listen to it. Highly disappointing and unnecessary.
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