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I was afraid of going to my first gymnastics lesson. I spent the next eight years afraid in the gym, particularly of beam for some reason, but generally afraid of many things. I eventually gave up that sport and moved to the even scarier sport of diving. In diving, at the ripe old.
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- Donald Trump and the Politics of Fear - The Atlantic
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- The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear
An Analysis of Fear. So, let us ask, what is fear?
Fear is what you feel when you face something that is unknown or a perceived threat to you. But fear goes beyond that.
Virtually all human reflexes and instincts are connected to fear. Even eating is connected to fear—when a person goes on a diet, the body unconsciously fears it is starving and increases your craving of high-calorie foods. Fear is sometimes justified.
Donald Trump and the Politics of Fear - The Atlantic
If something is legitimately dangerous, and you are terrified of it, that fear is in effect protecting you from that danger. But often fear is often created by the mind. A child is terrified that a monster will eat him in the dark, and thus is terrified. Probably the most famous autistic expert to talk about the power of fear is Dr. Temple Grandin.
Grandin is an expert in livestock management. She realized that every time a steer attacked a rancher or refused to do anything, it was always because of fear. And because she knew what was likely to terrify cattle, she was able to redesign livestock facilities so that they would not terrify the animals, and thus reduce the attacks on the ranchers. Animals do not have the same understanding that we do, and so they base their behavior on what they can understand. To an animal, a slight change in the environment can mean a predator is about to pounce, and hence animals are extremely sensitive to environmental differences.
This is not so different from the autistic child who has a full-blown meltdown when you move a picture from one wall to another or put his juice in a blue glass rather than a white one. That blue glass is an environmental change, and it becomes a life-and-death issue to him because he lacks your understanding that the juice inside is the same and he reacts like the cattle that Dr.
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Grandin talks about. Autistic Fears. As defined above, a fear is a response to something that is perceived to be dangerous.
To the autistic person, life is war. The world is a combat zone where everyone is warring against him. He has to defend himself, fight everyone—or else he will suffer miserably at the hands of people ready to hurt him in the name of help or therapy. And his motive for resistance, for refusal, is fear of what he does not understand. An objective measure of the motive to avoid powerlessness. Psychological Reports , 33, — We used the 8 items of the performance climate dimension of the motivational climate scale Nerstad et al.
The interactive relationship of competitive climate and trait competitiveness with workplace attitudes, stress, and performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior , 29, — The degree to which leaders demonstrated self-serving behavior was assessed using the 8-item leader self-serving behavior scale Rus et al. We asked subordinates for their opinion about the behavior of their supervisor e. Who is willing to sacrifice ethical values for money and social status? Gender differences in reactions to ethical compromises.
Social Psychological and Personality Science , 5, 52 — Bad apples, bad cases, and bad barrels: Meta-analytic evidence about sources of unethical decisions at work. Journal of Applied Psychology , 95, 1 — We analyzed the data applying a structural equation model using Mplus 7. We relied on Hu and Bentler Hu, L.
Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling , 6, 1 — Generally, a good fit is indicated by values greater than or equal to. First, we ran three confirmatory factor analyses. We compared a three-factor solution Model 1: one factor for fear of power loss, one factor for perceived competitive climate, and one factor for self-serving behavior to a two-factor solution Model 2: one factor for fear of power loss and perceived competitive climate, one factor for self-serving behavior and a one-factor solution Model 3: all items load on one factor.
These results indicate that the factor structure is appropriate and the three concepts are empirically distinct from each other. For means, standard deviations, and correlations between the variables see Table 1. Means, standard deviations, and intercorrelations for study 1 and study 2. Next, we estimated the structural equation model, whereby perceived leader self-serving behavior was predicted by fear of power loss and perceived competitive climate controlling for gender, leader-employee contact frequency, number of subordinates, and years in a supervisory role Model 1.
We then estimated the structural model including the latent interaction between fear of power loss and perceived competitive climate as a predictor of perceived leader self-serving behavior Model 2. Maximum likelihood estimation of latent interaction effects with the LMS method. Psychometrika , 65, — Estimating and interpreting latent variable interactions: A tutorial for applying the latent moderated structural equations method.
International Journal of Behavioral Development , 39, 87 — Leader self-serving behavior as a function of fear of power loss and competitive climate in study 1.
The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear
Figure 1. We approached 80 Dutch organizational teams i. Of the employees, a total of Thirty-four percent of the supervisors were female and the mean supervisor age was On average, supervisors had held a supervisory position in their current organization for 5. Forty-four percent of the employees were female, and their age was Most of the teams worked in commercially-oriented service organizations e.
The data were collected as part of a study on the role of leadership in the 21st century. A convenience-sampling method was used to collect the data. Graduate students recruited the teams by using their work environment, their personal networks, and by visiting local businesses.
Both supervisors and employees were approached via e-mail, phone, or face-to-face, and asked to participate in the study. Paper-and-pencil questionnaires were distributed in sets to employees and — separately — to their direct supervisor. Respondents were asked to fill in the paper-and-pencil questionnaires without consulting their colleagues, employees, or direct supervisor. The questionnaires were subsequently picked up by appointment. We relied on a coding system to match the data from the employees with the data from their direct supervisor. Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies.
Supervisors rated their fear of power loss and their employees rated perceived leader self-serving behavior and perceived competitive climate. The employee ratings were taken as the basis for the aggregated leader self-serving behavior scores and the competitive climate scores. The degree to which supervisors demonstrated leader self-serving behavior was assessed using the same 8-items that were used in Study 1 Rus et al. Similar to Study 1, we used the 8 items of the performance climate dimension of the motivational climate scale Nerstad et al.
We used control variables similar to the ones employed in Study 1. Inclusion of other in the self scale and the structure of interpersonal closeness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 63, — To account for nesting in our data multiple employees share the same direct supervisor , we first ran three multi-level confirmatory factor analyses using Mplus 7. Similar to Study 1, we compared a three-factor solution Model 1: one factor for fear of power loss, one factor for perceived competitive climate, and one factor for self-serving behavior to a two-factor solution Model 2: one factor for fear of power loss and perceived competitive climate, one factor for self-serving behavior and a one-factor solution Model 3: all items load on one factor.
Group size and measured of group-level properties: An examination of eta-squared and ICC values.
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Journal of Management , 24, — Journal of Applied Psychology , 78, — For competitive climate, in all but two teams r wg j scores exceeded the generally accepted. For leader self-serving behavior, in all teams r wg j scores exceeded the generally accepted. Because the data from the two teams in which employees agreed less with one another did not affect the pattern of results, these teams were kept in the dataset.
We conclude that aggregation is justified. Table 1 shows means, standard deviations, and intercorrelations of the study variables. We controlled for supervisor gender, years of employment in a supervisory position in the current organization, number of subordinates, perceived leader centrality, and employee gender 2 2.