October 31

Going Mental

Thursday’s Big Idea

The Risk Perception Gap

Happy Halloween! This is one day out of the year where the star of the show is clearly fear. It can be fun to experience this emotion because it is so primitive. If you surprise someone and say "Boo!" they might jump, or freeze up. There, you got 'em!

In today's lesson, we explore how fear works, and how it is so difficult to control. We also explore the consequences of not controlling this emotion, which can cause us to make all kinds of bad decisions - bad decisions that we make based on fear every day, not just on Halloween. 

  1. 1 We Have Evolved to Live Every Day...
  2. 2 The Amygdala in 5 Minutes
  3. 3 Some Halloween Thoughts on Fear
  4. 4 Lie to Me: The Biological Basis o...
   
  1. We Have Evolved to Live Every Day Like It's Halloween

    We Have Evolved to Live Every Day Like It's Halloween

    Our primal fear can make modern humans oversensitive, and cause us to react to dangers that don't exist and push us to make illogical and irrational decisions. 

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  2. The Amygdala in 5 Minutes

    The Amygdala in 5 Minutes

    The neuroscientist gives a short primer on the brain's emotional processor.

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  3. Some Halloween Thoughts on Fear

    Some Halloween Thoughts on Fear

    What should scare us the most is the danger that arises when we get risk wrong, when we’re more afraid than the evidence says we need to be, or not as afraid as the evidence says we ought to be.

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  4. Lie to Me: The Biological Basis of Emotion

    Lie to Me: The Biological Basis of Emotion

    Paul Ekman studies "the lies that society cares about catching and generally disapproves of." After all, we lie most often to avoid punishment for breaking a rule.    

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