4. The Fear Instinct

Number 4 of 10 Rules of Thumb

Calculate the risks

Factfulness is . . . recognizing when frightening things get our attention, and remembering that these are not necessarily the most risky. Our natural fears of violence, captivity, and contamination make us systematically overestimate these risks.

To control the fear instinct, calculate the risks.

• The scary world: fear vs. reality. The world seems scarier than it is because what you hear about it has been selectedby your own attention filter or by the media—precisely because it is scary.

• Risk = danger × exposure. The risk something poses to you depends not on how scared it makes you feel, but on a combination of two things. How dangerous is it? And how much are you exposed to it?

• Get calm before you carry on. When you are afraid, you see the world differently. Make as few decisions as possible until the panic has subsided.

Back to the list of 10 Factfulness rules of thumb

  1. Gap Instinct
  2. Negativity Instinct
  3. Straight Line Instinct
  4. Fear Instinct
  5. Size Instinct
  6. Generalization Instinct
  7. Destiny Instinct
  8. Single Instinct
  9. Blame Instinct
  10. Urgency Instinct

 

To read our book Factfulness, go to the library or order your own copy here

 

 

 

 

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Date Posted: 2018-03-11