WATCH: Sociologist digs into the prevailing culture of extreme fear

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Nov 7, 2017, 3:26 PM EST (Updated)

We live in a world flooded with daily fears and perils -- some life-altering, many threatening to our security, but most only qualify as minor annoyances in the grand scheme of things.

The way human beings perceive and deal with this pandemic of phobias is material for thousands of shiver-inducing doctorate thesis papers and a library stuffed with volumes of self-help guides.

Dr. Margee Kerr is personally acquainted with this ever-present fabric of fear and the author of Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear, which examines what the potent factor of fear does to our brains and our bodies.

SYFY WIRE visited with Kerr at Pennsylvania's eerie Eastern State Penitentiary this Halloween season to understand the definition of the "culture of fear," negativity bias, the news media's role in fanning the flames, and where this epidemic of panic originated, and to learn what's the best way to process this nerve-rattling information.

Oh, and the good doctor also hesitantly admits what her greatest fear is! Whoa!


Additional reporting by Jeff Spry.