WNPR

The Benefits of Being Afraid

Sep 28, 2015

Think about what it's like to ride that super-fast, double-looped, mountain-high roller coaster. Hyper-focused, you study the rickety bones of the structure while waiting your turn. You hear the clattering of the cars as they climb to the highest peak, and then watch as they plunge toward the ground with their loads of screaming passengers. Eventually the cars glide back to the starting position and it’s your turn. 

You climb in. There's no turning back. You reach the summit yourself, stare down in disbelief, and begin plummeting earthward. Your heart rate jumps. Your stomach is in your mouth. Your brain is flashing warning signals. Adrenaline is pumping through your system. What you're experiencing is the "fight or flight" response -- or, simply, fear. Why do we wait patiently so we can scare ourselves silly?

Margee Kerr, a thrill-seeker herself, is a sociologist who studies fear, and is a nationally recognized expert on professional haunted houses. She joins us to talk about the Science of fear.

Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

GUEST:

  • Margee Kerr – is the author of Scream:  Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear

MUSIC:

  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
  • “Breathe,” Pink Floyd
  • “One of These Days,” Pink Floyd
  • “Tubular Bells,” Mike Oldfield