How much are you controlled by fear? Intereting contemplation from an article at Psychology Today, "How Risky is it Really? Why our fears don't always match facts".

The post is a Review of past 'Year of Fear'" telling us how we perceive risk, and what risks we perceived in 2010 via a month-by-month rundown of what we, as a cultural collective, were "fearing" each month of the year:

Check it out, then (if you're not afraid), share which fears had you this year....

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    Thank you for pointing out this article Bonnie; it is unsettling to see the extent to which fear defines our experience. I recently attended a talk by Dan Ariely which focused on the sometimes subtle influence of fear on our decision making processproposes an explanation for a phenomena many have observed: that our most improbable fears impact our decisions substantially, but often realistic fears are ignored. An example would be the cigarette smoker drinking bottled water. I couldn't find that talk online, but Ariely covers some of the same topics in this talk on decision making:


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    • Hi John: Thanks for the Dan Ariely video recommendation. I hadn't heard of him. I just caught the first few minutes and look forward to seeing the rest. Its very intriguing. Its funny to think how the generation of fear takes place at  such a deep unconscious level and has such a profound effect on us.

      I do think there is a cultural phenomenon that is increasingly taking hold as we are bombarded by media reports that focus heavily on negative news and things that may threaten us, creating more terror that we continually repress and dissociate from. Plus, it only adds to the illusion your alluded to, of how improbably fears are what affect us most. As the French philosopher Paul Valery said, "We hope vaguely, but dread precisely."

      I also recently came across an article about a woman who had a rare brain condition that rendered her incapable of feeling fear: That doesn't seem like such a good thing either. Fear--and the resulting action it causes us to take in the face of those very real dangers--obviously plays a big part in allowing us to survive and evolve to what we are today. Wonder what the world would be like if we all felt no fear?...or if we all get completely consumed by it...
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