Fearing Well

There are plenty of things to be afraid of. So choose carefully

Another year, another 365 days--wait, 366--in which things could go terribly, terribly wrong. But how? Identifying the most pressing threats turns out to be unexpectedly difficult. Psychologists say we innately misjudge risk, often becoming instinctively fixated on perceived threats that aren't really hazardous while overlooking real dangers because they don't set off our subconscious alarm bells. People fear cell-phone radiation because it's a relatively new technology and the word radiation adds to the aura of invisible malevolence--yet numerous studies have found no convincing evidence of health risks. Parents' fear of vaccination actually ends up exposing kids to very real risk. And...

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