Fear Essential Reads

The Experience of Fear

By Jennifer Verdolin Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Wild Connections
We, and other species, have evolved the ability to rapidly adopt an appropriate strategy to respond to life-threatening, fearful, or aggressive encounters.

How Vulnerable Should You Let Yourself Be?

The impulse, self-protectively, to ward off whatever feels threatening is only natural. But you also have to consider the costs of such cautiousness.

Freezing with Fear

Does scaring people about climate change lead them to freeze and do nothing in response? How to motivate action rather than inducing overwhelming fear.

Beyond Looking: When Voyeurism Leads to Criminal Behavior

Voyeuristic tendencies range from the mild to the malevolent. And although such behavior itself is unsettling, some voyeuristic individuals do more than just look.

Fear Is Nothing to Be Feared

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on December 26, 2017 in Insight Therapy
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” FDR once famously declared. But was he right?

How Fear Is Being Used to Manipulate Cryptocurrency Markets

By Bobby Azarian Ph.D. on December 14, 2017 in Mind In The Machine
The world of cryptocurrency is profitable and intellectually intriguing, but misinformation campaigns that use psychological manipulation are creating chaos for investors.

Study: "Pride Comes Before a Fall" Is Flawed in Two Ways

By Christopher Bergland on December 13, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Does pride really come before a fall? A quirky new study tackles this question from two seemingly unrelated angles.

Two Ways to Spot When a Suitor Is Becoming a Stalker

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on December 10, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
When it comes to attention, there can be too much of a good thing. When focus becomes fixation, it is time to end a relationship that has crossed the line.

Imposter Syndrome and Fear of Failure

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on December 10, 2017 in Trust
When we feel like the token minority, it's not surprising that we fear being uncovered as a 'fraud.'

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Receive Graciously

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on December 10, 2017 in Life, Refracted
Childhood experiences with our caregivers and feelings of guilt, embarrassment, fear, and disappointment can influence the ways in which we receive others' expressions of love.

Kids, Would You Please Lower Your Weapons?

With authoritarians on both the Right and the Left dominating political discourse, it's tough (and sometimes unsafe) for the sensible center to get a word in edgewise.

Let Worry Motivate Your Next Move

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in All about Anxiety
Worry motivates us to act on our plans, to stay on task, and to solve problems. It can trigger planning, preparation, and action—but worrying in itself is not acting.

How to Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking

How to conquer the fear of public speaking once and for all.

5 Ways to Shake a Stalker: Disengaging Delusional Pursuit

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 27, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Even with positive attention, there can be too much of a good thing. When friends and fans become fanatical, it is time to actively disengage.

10 Signs Insecurity Is Spreading to Your Facebook Behavior

Feel you're on the outside looking in? It’s a miserable state of mind that social media can only worsen. Measure your own fear of missing out (FOMO) with this quick 10-item scale.

When Post-Breakup Pursuit Becomes Stalking

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 19, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Relational pursuit is part of love stories and romantic comedies, even after a breakup. Unfortunately, glamorous depictions of unrequited love create a false sense of normalcy.

How “Manipulation Armies” Are Undermining Democracies

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in Side Effects
A new report on the “closed loops” of disinformation stoking chaos and confusion almost everywhere.

Our Entomophobic Culture

By Jeffrey Lockwood Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in The Infested Mind
The playfulness of the Itsy Bitsy Spider can’t compete with the image of a frightened Little Miss Muffet. Nursery rhymes and adult stories tell us that insects are terrifying.

It Takes a Psychopath to Like Another Psychopath

As much as people are fascinated with the concept of psychopathy, the attraction is tinged with stigma. A recent study shows those who like psychopaths may share their traits.

On Teenagers, Helplessness, and Anxiety

By Bruce Poulsen Ph.D. on October 30, 2017 in Reality Play
How does an understanding of normal childhood anxiety help us make sense of anxiety disorders among teenagers?

How the God You Worship Influences the Ghosts You See

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on October 29, 2017 in Out of the Ooze
While religion may ease our terror of death, it may also increase our chances of being haunted by ghosts and other spirits during our lifetime.

The Things We Get Spooked About

What our phobias can teach us about our world.

Halloween Candy, Poison, and Razor Blades: Why Worry?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on October 27, 2017 in Psych Unseen
5 reasons that we're spooked by extremely unlikely risks.

A Political Prescription for Donald Trump's Brain

By Hara Estroff Marano on October 18, 2017 in Brainstorm
Mental health experts go beyond warning of the dangers of Donald Trump's presidency to take political action.

Healing in the Aftermath of Las Vegas

Our brains take in the details of a mass tragedy, and organize them so that we have a sense of understanding and control --unless information, like motive, is missing.

Stress Makes It Harder to Recognize Danger

By Lydia Denworth on October 16, 2017 in Brain Waves
Sometimes stress heightens our awareness, but more often, it dulls our ability to respond to new threats. Recognizing the risk and reducing sources of stress can help.

Acute American Anxiety (AAA) Disorder: A New Diagnosis?

Serious stress, anxiety, and fear are in the air and seem pervasive in our country and culture with symptoms seemingly getting worse by the day. But we can cope better if we try.

Fear Is the NRA and Gun Industry’s Deadliest Weapon

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on October 05, 2017 in Dangerous Ideas
Nothing sells guns like fear—including the fear of not having a gun.

Seeking Redemption: The Rage of Alzheimer’s

By Greg O'Brien on October 04, 2017 in On Pluto
Profane language can be common in Alzheimer’s. An expression of gut rage and loss of filter, along with inadvertent grabbing, kicking, pushing, and throwing.

Why You Need a CyberBuddy

By David J Ley Ph.D. on October 04, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Finding people who can be a support to you, in dealing with the scary and intimidating world of online harassment, is an important and effective self-care strategy.