Thanks to DG for sending this to me when we were discussing how people do not do the math on what they should really fear in life.
The blog is titled:
Published by Steven Novella under Neuroscience
Below is a snippet:
"What We Fear?
Psychologists have identified five basic fears, out of which most other fears are based. They are: fear of death, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and “ego death” which is the fear of humiliation or shame.
Despite the obvious adaptive function of fear, many people fear the wrong things, meaning that their fear and anxiety is not proportional to actual threat. This mismatch is maladaptive, so why is it the case?
For example, people generally fear flying more than driving.
Meanwhile, in the entire history of aviation about 13,000 people have lost their lives, the same amount as die on US roads every 4 months. Another way to look at the probability, which is perhaps a bit more intuitive, is that you would have to fly every day for about 14,000 years before having a greater than 50% chance of crashing. That’s pretty reassuring.
Why do so many people worry about the (statistically) wrong things? There are a couple of reasons."
I really enjoyed this article and here is a final snippet below. If more of us followed this advice, there would be a lot less worry and a lot less power that politicians would have talking nonsense on what people should fear.
"Optimally our fears would be proportional to the actual risk they pose. Actually I think there are three basic factors that should be taken explicitly into account when considering the appropriate level of fear and what to do about it. The first is the probability of the negative even occurring. The second is the consequences of the negative event. The third is the cost (expense, inconvenience, trade-offs) of taking steps to prevent or mitigate the negative event."