Fear of threats associated with social circle size

Apr 11, 2012

Humans' fear level toward threats is associated with the typical size of our social circles, according to a report published Apr. 11 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

People fear threats that would kill 100 people more than those that would kill 10 people, but equally fear those that would kill either 100 or 1,000 people, the authors report. tend to be on the order of about 100 people. The researchers, Mirta Galesic of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany and Rocio Garcia-Retamero of the University of Granada in Spain, also determined that this effect was not due to lack of between 100 and 1,000.

The authors conclude that the work could have important implications for raising awareness about specific risks to the general public.

Explore further: Reintegrating extremist into society

More information: Galesic M, Garcia-Retamero R (2012) The Risks We Dread: A Social Circle Account. PLoS ONE 7(4): e32837. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032837

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tarantulas help parse fear in the human brain

Nov 09, 2010

The human brain may respond differently to threats based on proximity, trajectory, and expectations, according to a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Recommended for you

Reintegrating extremist into society

Jan 30, 2015

The UK government's increasingly punitive response to those involved in terrorism risks undermining efforts to successfully reintegrate former extremists, according to research by the University of St Andrews.

Strategies to enhance intelligence analysis

Jan 30, 2015

If you've ever watched a thriller about undercover agents, you probably have the impression that intelligence officers are models of objectivity, pragmatism and sharp, unbiased thinking. However, in reality ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.