Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Culture of Fear

Scared, frightened people make less rational decisions, are more prone to misplace their priorities and are easier to mislead. Belief that crime is perpetually on the rise is part of a larger American narrative that is destroying this nation economically and culturally. Such irrational fear leads to bad decision making and mismanagement of resources. It also has political ramifications:

Part of the reason for this divergence is what sociologists call pessimistic bias: the unshakable conviction that things are not just worse than they are, but also worse than they used to be. Humans appear to have a hard-wired tendency to compare contemporary life with largely fictitious good old days, in which all schools were top-notch, politicians had integrity, children behaved, and crime was nil.

HT: The Daily Dish.


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