Cobalt Communications The Art + Science of Understanding

Understanding: Fear

Fear is a useful emotion. It can protect us from something dangerous or help us avoid things that might cause us pain. Then there’s the dark side of fear. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States every year. People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. To break down this complex emotion, we must evaluate biology, psychology and sociology. Keep reading below to increase your understanding of fear.

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The Ten Bears: Stephen King’s Guide to Fear. In 1973, Stephen King published an essay called “the Horror Market Writer and the Ten Bears.” It still serves as an interesting tool for analyzing the many faces of fear. Open the interactive PDF and keep reading to learn about the Bears through the eyes of Halloween-inspired masks.
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How Horror Films Make Us Feel Afraid. When The Ring came out in 2002, it proved that a horror movie could frighten audiences without resorting to gratuitous gore. Instead, it combined great storytelling with time-honored filmmaking techniques to create a truly terrifying experience. Check out this infographic to learn how The Ring and other movies work their dark magic.
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Deconstructing the Fear of Failure. True learning only comes from the long, dark, tortuous journey — the pathway to understanding — that comes after we meet with disaster. Many people who fear failure don’t actually fear the moment of failure itself. Instead, they fear the long, dark, tortuous journey that comes afterward. Does this sound familiar? Read on.

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Fear and Marketing.
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, or FUD, is a fear-based marketing strategy used in public relations and advertising. Influencers use FUD techniques to make us change our behavior, but it can be taken too far. Keep reading to learn how you can leverage fear in your marketing — and when you might decide to avoid it altogether.
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Fun with Phobias. Did you know that 13 percent of the population suffers from phobias? Fear of sharks is understandable, but did you know that some of those phobias are communications-related? For example, hellenologophobia is the fear of Greek words or scientific terminology. Crazy, right? We put together this fun mailer to explore this little-known side of fear.
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Terror Trivia. Love scary movies? Does the exclamation, “The call is coming from inside the house!”, make you giggle with excited fear? Then you should be able to pass our horror movie trivia quiz with flying blood colors. If horror is not your thing, you shouldn’t be afraid to take the quiz. It’s a wicked good time whether you’re a horror hero or a scaredy-cat.

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Cobalt’s Understanding(x) Series examines complex topics with the goal of increasing understanding among laypeople. At the end of each year, we hope to have a portfolio of materials about the chosen topics that will become part of the public record — a resource for teachers, students and citizens to draw upon in their quest for clarity and connection. If you have any suggestions for topics to be considered, drop us a line.