The Science of Fear: Why We Fear the Things We Shouldn't--and Put Ourselves in Greater Danger

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (29) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $10.99   
  • Used (25) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$10.99
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(243)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
New hardback book with publisher's inventory mark on bottom. We ship each business day; single CDs & DVDs upgraded to 1st class! Tracking provided.

Ships from: Cincinnati, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$17.01
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(149)

Condition: New
2008-07-17 Hardcover New Brand new hardcover with DJ. Has remainder mark on bottom page edges.

Ships from: Suwanee, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$32.51
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(265)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(147)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by

Overview

From terror attacks to the war on terror, real estate bubbles to the price of oil, sexual predators to poisoned food from China, our list of fears is ever-growing. And yet, we are the safest and healthiest humans in history. Irrational fear seems to be taking over, often with tragic results. For example, in the months after 9/11, when people decided to drive instead of fly—believing they were avoiding risk—road deaths rose by more than 1,500.

In this fascinating, lucid, and thoroughly entertaining examination of how humans process risk, journalist Dan Gardner had the exclusive cooperation of Paul Slovic, the world renowned risk-science pioneer, as he reveals how our hunter gatherer brains struggle to make sense of a world utterly unlike the one that made them. Filled with illuminating real world examples, interviews with experts, and fast-paced, lean storytelling, The Science of Fear shows why it is truer than ever that the worst thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Gardner, a columnist and senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen, is both matter-of-fact and entertaining in this look at fear and how it shapes our lives. Although we are capable of reason, says Gardner, we often rely instead on intuitive snap judgments. We also assume instinctively, but incorrectly, that "[i]f examples of something can be recalled easily, that thing must be common." And what is more memorable than headlines and news programs blaring horrible crimes and diseases, plane crashes and terrorist attacks? In fact, such events are rare, but their media omnipresence activates a gut-level fear response that is out of proportion to the likelihood of our going through such an event. It doesn't help that scientific data and statistics are often misunderstood and misused and that our risk assessment is influenced less by the facts than by how others respond. Gardner's vivid, direct style, backed up by clear examples and solid data from science and psychology, brings a breath of fresh air and common sense to an emotional topic. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Entertaining, often jolting account of why trivial risks terrify us, even as we engage in wildly dangerous activities with hardly a qualm. Horrified by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many Americans stopped flying. Because of this, an additional 1,500 died in auto accidents the following year; none died in plane crashes. Most Americans know flying is safer than driving. In fact, writes Ottawa Citizen contributor Gardner in this lively account of why humans fear the wrong things, if terrorists hijacked and crashed one plane a week in the United States, flying would still be far safer. Yet in the more than six years since 9/11 our leaders and the media continue to trumpet the horrors of domestic terrorism-total American deaths it's caused since 2001: zero-while no presidential candidate would dare warn us off an activity that's killed more than 200,000 during the same time period. Using examples from everyday life and elucidating with ingenious psychological studies, the author explains why utterly irrational fears come naturally. He strips our approach to frightening events into "head" (reason) and "gut" (emotion), making it clear that gut rules and gut is immune to facts, statistics and common sense. Studies show that gut loves the illusion of control: Drivers of cars rarely feel helpless; not so airline passengers. Familiarity soothes gut. It's almost impossible to make Americans worry about mass killers like diabetes and obesity, but dramatic, extremely rare maladies like mad-cow disease, West Nile virus and Ebola and fill the media and make us nervous. Intensely patriotic, gut turns up its nose at foreign fears. Americans chuckle at the European panic over genetically engineered food,while Europeans scratch their heads at the American obsession with the dangers of nuclear power. Readers may squirm to learn the sheer silliness of so many of their fears. They will squirm again to realize that, despite this knowledge, those fears will persist.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525950622
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/17/2008
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Gardner is a columnist and senior writer for The Ottawa Citizen . He has received numerous awards for his writing, including Amnesty International's Media Award and the Michener Award.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Prologue: 1,595     1
Prehistoric Refugee     5
Of Two Minds     18
The Death of Homo economicus     32
The Emotional Brain     59
A Story About Numbers     87
The Herd Senses Danger     102
Fear Inc.     125
All the Fear That's Fit to Print     155
Crime and Perception     182
The Chemistry of Fear     218
Terrified of Terrorism     246
There's Never Been a Better Time to Be Alive     289
Notes     305
Bibliography     325
Acknowledgments     329
Index     331
About the Author     341
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    The Science of fear.

    This is a great book for anybody interested in psychology, politics, management, or just being a human being. The author goes into depth discussing how easily society is manipulated by fear. The book discusses this topic from a biological, evolutionary, psychological, and chemical standpoint. He shows the causes and effects of the fears we deal with every day. He shows how low risk threats control us while we ignore the threats that are really damaging our lives. The author is very insightful and does a good job of approaching this for a neutral standpoint. This is a very good book and could be in anybody's library.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    We should not really fear what we think we should!

    I gained a lot from this book. We are afraid of so many things when really the risk of these happening is so minute relative to any other day to day event, that we lose focus. Right now we are so focused on terrorism yet these are such rare acts it diverts the attention away from pending crises such as obesity and poverty, where huge numbers of people suffer. I certainly viewed the world differently after reading this book and dont generally watch the evening news any more. Count how many stories actually have anything positive to say...doom, gloom, death, murder, disease, and terrorism all sell. Is it any wonder that we are more stressed in our lives?!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Science of Fear is a dispassionate examination of how our hunter gatherer evolved brains based react to fear, and how we use fear to manipulate ourselves and others about crime, cancer, pollution, radiation, terrorism, etc.

    By any and all measures, we actually live in the safest and healthiest time of human history, yet many of us are more fearful than ever before. Furthermore, we tend to fear highly improbable things?such as terrorist attacks or shark attacks? while calmly taking personal risks that are thousands of times more dangerous?such as driving instead of flying after 9/11 which probably added 1595 highway deaths to the impact of that attack.
    What gives? Daniel Gardner incorporates the latest scientific research to answer this question. He starts with the biological and evolutionary nature of our brains. They are optimized for hunter gatherer societies of small tribes in which immediate and viscerally experiences of threats and opportunities are coupled with herd like reactions. They are poorly equipped to deal with the indirect threats and opportunities ones and statistical evidence of modern society. On top of that, those who provide us the information that replaces visceral experience pre-filter that information through their own poorly equipped brains. Some of them try to be accurate, but many realize that fear makes stories more interesting, attracts a larger audience and motivates action. They are encouraged by this to exaggerate fear related stories while ignoring the more difficult to communicate "good news" or honest facts.
    Fear sells, perhaps even more effectively than sex! Even the well intentioned people use unjustified fear to promote worthy causes as Gardner illustrates with familiar case studies!
    Gardner discusses the issues of crime, chemical pollution, cancer, and terrorism and compares the best statistical evidence of how significant they are to our personal and national lives against the best statistical measurements of what people believe about them. The dramatic differences between reality and belief on these issues has wasted vast resources and emotional energy on relatively minor causes while leaving many major, every day threats virtually untouched.
    In spite of its title this is a fascinating and hopeful book; not a fearful one. Gardner includes tools that enable us, as individuals, to better assess our personal situations, minimize our unrealistic fears, filter fear biased information and effectively address the more significant threats and opportunities we face.
    To quote from conclusions on page 294 of the book: "So why is it that so many of the safest humans in history are scared of their own shadows? There are three basic components at work: the brain, the media, and many individuals and organizations with an interest in stoking fears. Wire these three components together in a loop and we have the circuitry of fear."
    This book has improved my understanding of our total over-reaction to 9/11 and what keeps our irrational fears of terrorism shaping feel-good but non-productive responses such as our continued military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to reading the book, I was tempted to chalk these actions up to stupidity and juvenile behavior on the part of George Bush, Dick Cheney and company. Those were triggering factors, but not the sustaining ones.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2009

    great book, very enlightening

    This book does a great job explaining how the media has programmed us all to be completely irrational in ways in which we thought we were rational. <BR/><BR/>This is a must read book for anyone with a vote. This will change the way you consume the news and will require you demand more from your news sources. <BR/><BR/>This book will also help you analyze everyday decisions you make in your life that you could be making for the exact wrong reasons.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)