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Tue, Dec 02

The science of fear (and how you can fight it)

A healthy aversion to snakes might be useful in the jungle, but a ramped-up phobia of them that has you running screaming from garden hoses is obviously maladaptive in suburbia. And then there are phobias that seem to lack rational explanation: an aversion to pigeons, avoiding anything to do with the number 13, to fear of the color yellow.

“Fear mechanisms have helped us survive for millions of years,” says UC Davis neuroscientist and psychologist Philippe Goldin. But even a natural mechanism can become twisted into something strange.

Read more from The Week.