Friday, November 29, 2013

The Science of Fear: Wrapping Up with What We Should Do

 What We Need To Know

There’re a lot of organizations which can benefit from fear. So, they promote it. These are politicians, companies, media, and so on. Our thought consists of head and gut. Head is reasonable, but most of the time, we don’t believe head. We believe gut which does not often give us the right answer. Gut also suffers from many psychological symptoms such as bias, group polarization, anchoring rule, good-bad rule, example rule, rule of typical thing, and so on. These symptoms contribute to our overestimation and underestimation of risks, and cloud our judgement.

What We Can Do

Simply be aware of our feeling and other’s intention to manipulate our feeling. When making decision, check whether gut is misleading us. If so, carefully think about it, and then make decision.
“Very often, Head and Gut will agree. When that happens, we can be confident in our judgments. But sometimes Head will say one thing, Gut another. Then there’s reason to be cautious. A quick and final judgment isn’t necessary to deal with most of the risks we face today, so when Head and Gut can’t agree, we should hold off. Gather more information. Think some more. And if Head and Gut still don’t match up, swallow hard and go with Head.”
“The past wasn’t perfect, but at least we knew where we stood. Now when we look into the future, all we see is a black void of uncertainty in which so many ways things could go horribly wrong. This world we live in really is a more dangerous place.”

Hindsight Bias

“The past always appears more certain than it was, and that makes the future feel more uncertain—and therefore frightening—than ever”
We tend to think that the event in the past was obvious and we could have predicted it. Nassim Nicholas Teleb called this phenomenon ‘Black Swan’.
“We are safer than ever before. We worry far too much about very small risks like carcinogens in food, the risk of train accidents and things like that. We are unduly risk averse and public policy is very risk averse for those minor matters.”--Martin Rees 
SOURCEThe Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain 

Book or Audiobooks?

Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post].

There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into You can keep downloading the over and over again.

   About the summary: It takes time to finish up a book. And, when you do, sometimes, you want to review what you learn from the book. If you do not make  notes as you read, you might have to go through the book once again. This can be time-consuming when you are dealing with a book. But you can still flip through the book and locate what you are looking for.

However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.

This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.

I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.

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