Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - 27

FEAR

FACTOR

The Tools to
REASON

Peters suggests that when we don't
understand or can't contextualize the
odds of something bad happening,
we turn to experts. Put simply: Ask
someone who does understand it.
Armed with information, you'll be
able to force yourself to embrace reason, even in a moment of emotional
panic. Gorrindo suggests these steps:
* Slow your breathing. It will send
a physical signal of calm.
* Practice mindfulness. Try to
become aware that you're thinking
about risk based on your feelings.
* Evaluate the evidence. That's
where you recall what you know
about air travel, for example. Planes
rarely crash. The odds are very low

that there will be a problem.
Most flights have no issues.
You probably are safe.
"Externalize it: What advice
would you give to a friend? We
have a lot of different advice we'd
give to others. Can you take your
own advice?" Gorrindo asks.
Truthfully, an important component to overriding emotion-driven
decision making is practice.
The more you force yourself to
become a logic-driven decision
maker, the less often you'll be driven
by fear. Got Zika? Not likely. Avian
flu? Doubt it. A faulty plane? You're
pretty safe, you'll think with a shrug.
There's so much you could be afraid
of. But with practice, your reason can
be stronger than your fear. ■

How big of a role does emotion
play in decision making?
We can look to a study of
Americans' travel habits after the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
In 2006, researcher Gerd Gigerenzer
published his study, "Out of the
Frying Pan into the Fire: Behavioral
Reactions to Terrorist Attacks," in
the journal Risk Analysis. He looked
at the concept of dread risk, when a
low-probability, high-damage event
leaves many dead at a point in time.
He determined that after the
9/11 attacks, Americans didn't
fly as much. For a year after the
events, interstate highway travel
increased, which Gigerenzer concluded was because more people
drove in place of flying.
For each month in that year,
there were more fatal highway
crashes than there had been in
previous years. In fact, more than
1,500 Americans died in those
crashes, the researcher found, as
some of them tried to avoid their
perceived risk of dying in a plane
crash at the hands of terrorists.
After that year, the number
of highway crashes returned to
pre-9/11 levels.

TOOL

Safety Snapshot
The National Safety Council's
Safety Checkup can help you
understand your risks and
ways to keep yourself safe.
Visit nsc.org/forms/safety
checkup.aspx to learn more.

FAL L 2017

27


http://www.nsc.org/forms/safetycheckup.aspx http://www.nsc.org/forms/safetycheckup.aspx

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - 3
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - 4
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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