Summary Of The Science Of Fear Manipulates Your Brain By Daniel Gardner

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In Daniel Gardner’s The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain, chapter nine which is titled “Crime and Perception” is about child abductions and the actual probability of a child getting kidnapped. The author claims that the tabloids, the government, and the media relays news using horrifying pictures. Which encourages a gut reaction instead of providing the facts that allow people to assess the situation causing them think and react based on head. In addition, the author accuses the media of not giving the public enough time to process the information given, in most circumstances the statistics are showed briefly or are viewed at the end of television broadcasting and the facts, most of the time, are not even explained. …show more content…

He gives an example of a sufficient case where the media plays into human fear, thus allowing the audiences' gut-based emotion to make decisions for them immediately, creating the irrational fear that their child is going to get abducted. More often than not, the extreme cases are presented by the media to induce fear and to grab the audience's attention. Anderson Cooper brings the author's theory to light in his segment about child abductions, he uses Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck, who are boys that got abducted and sexually abused (183-184). The stories of the boys getting abducted gives the viewer an example and background information as to how the media plays into the emotions of the audience. This than causes the listeners to react and immediately feel for whatever topic that they are discussing. According to the U.S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, "Pedophiles watch our children from the shadows" (182). Using this example, Gardner exposes the fact that every person, no matter how unbiased they try to be, puts a spin that will persuade the audience that what they are saying is the truth and also considered fact. The media and government officials try to convince the audience by putting graphics and unrealistic videos or images that may make people scared, sad, or …show more content…

He then provides the reader with the statistics that was neglected to be mentioned by the television broadcast. He brings forth evidence on the actual numbers of the probability of a child getting kidnapped, the author states, “115 case of kids under eighteen being stolen by strangers, the risk to any one American minor is about 0.00016 percent, or 1 in 608,696” (186). This specific evidence allows the reader to access the actual probability of a child in America getting kidnapped. If the media gave specific evidence during the presentation and decided to not use extreme cases of kidnapping, which profoundly worried the parents watching the hour-long episode, the parents would not be as frightened if the arrangement of the presentation was different (184). Gardener, stating this, gives a representation as to where all the fear comes from with American parents and their children getting abducted. By the author providing evidence to help support his argument he helps build his credibility with the

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