Fear Management And Panic Reaction Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Terrorism Type: Reaction Paper Paper: #74578709 Related Topics: Stress Management, Event Management, Behavior Management, Infectious Disease
Excerpt from Reaction Paper :

Fear Management: Public Trust, Perceived Vulnerability and Psychology of Rumor and Panic

From the readings this week, it was easy to see that there are a number of ways people start to panic, often over issues that are really not threats to them. Helping people understand what the true risks are, versus them coming up with a lot of risks that are not really accurate, can make a big difference in whether people panic or whether they remain calm and consider all the parts of the issue before they decide whether they are going to panic. Concerns like bioterrorism are very important to the public, because it can difficult to predict whether the masses would panic, or whether they would simply hold their ground because they have been taught how to handle the issue. Without the knowledge of how to handle things, though, there is little opportunity to do anything other than panic. Once some people start panicking, many other people will follow suit, and it will be more difficult to control the masses. The key is to stop the panic before it starts, so that it does not have the opportunity to take over and start controlling large numbers of people.

Panic is based on the fight or flight response, which is the body's way of warning a person that he or she is in imminent danger. Unfortunately, that response is not always triggered by an outside event, which means that it can happen even when there is no real reason for it to, and no actual threat. Something like bioterrorism...

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When that happens, they are panicking over something that they are not actually threatened with, and their flight or fight response kicks in even though it is not really necessary to protect them. A lot of the problems that come about when people panic start from rumors that may or may not be true. These rumors are at the heart of many problems faced by society, and starting a panic for no real reason is one of those problems.

The rumors that get started generally occur because people are not being clearly told by authority figures what is actually going on. That makes them afraid, and they start speculating on what could be happening. Over time, those speculations turn into rumors that other people start repeating. Before a person knows it, that tiny idea he or she had has spread all over, and people start to think it is the truth. That can be great for something that brings hope or peace, but it is terrible in troubling times, when people need to hear the voice of reason but they are not being told what they need to know. Then, authority figures have to come out and try to stop the rumors, which can mean that they are working against the information the people in society already have. That puts them at a distinct disadvantage, and can keep them from having any success at squashing the rumors and restoring some order. People who understand order and who do not panic are able to avoid some of the rumor and speculation, but most of society will at…

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