In our last episode, we spoke about risk assessment and how our brains are slow to develop this important aspect of living. This is one reason human children tend to stay with their parents for so long compared with other mammals – and why teenagers tend to get involved in risky behaviors that sometimes cause long-term damage to them and others.
There is another aspect to risk assessment that maybe gets overlooked. That aspect is fear. When we experience fear, we tend to overestimate danger and risk – sometimes wildly. This overestimate can cause us to be overly cautious, resulting in missed opportunities for education and connection.