The psychology behind the fear of flying, blog article written by Ted Prodromou

In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explores the intriguing concept of how fear is processed and perceived in our minds, particularly through the lens of the "availability heuristic." 

This heuristic is a mental shortcut that affects the way we assess the probability of events based on how easily examples come to mind. 

Consider the fear of flying versus the fear of driving. 

Statistically, air travel is significantly safer than car travel. 

However, many people are more afraid of flying than driving. 

Kahneman explains that this disproportionate fear is largely due to the availability heuristic. 

High-profile plane crashes, though rare, are dramatic and widely reported in the media. 

These vivid images and stories become easily accessible in our memory, leading us to overestimate the likelihood of such events. 

In contrast, car accidents happen more frequently but don't always make the headlines. 

They become 'normalized' and less memorable, leading us to underestimate their frequency and, by extension, the risks associated with driving. 

This concept extends beyond just fear and risk assessment. 

It influences various aspects of our decision-making and judgment. 

During our Mastermind Book Club discussion on Thursday, January 25th at 11:30 Pacific/2:30 Eastern, we'll delve deeper into how the availability heuristic shapes our perceptions and decisions, often without our conscious awareness. 

We'll explore real-life examples and discuss strategies to mitigate the influence of this heuristic on our thinking. 

This session promises to be not just an exploration of Kahneman's insights, but also a journey into understanding our own minds better. 

Don't miss this opportunity to uncover the mysteries of human thought and behavior! 

>>> Explore the human mind with Tom and Ted 


About the author 

Ted Prodromou

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