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CURRENT EVENT | JANUARY 29, 2016

Debate: Is Our Fear of Terrorism Irrational?

Fear of terrorism is rising in the United States. Scientists have been studying reactions to terrorist events, and how those reactions shape public policy. Polls show Americans are currently as afraid of terrorism as they were the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. A research study showed people thought they had a one in three chance of being the target of an attack. The emotional responses are out of proportion to the actual risk. Listen to hear more about how emotions trump reality and then debate whether fear of terrorism is rational.

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Story Length: 4:14

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What was one of Malala Yousafzai’s first experiences with the dangers of religious extremism?
  • After miraculously surviving her attack, what has Malala focused her work on?
  • What is the message that Malala is trying to send to those in power?
  • What does Malala want to do in the future?
  • What are the goals of Malala’s mission to support girls?

Discussion Themes

  • What is your opinion on Malala’s message about the power of education?
  • Why do you think that ISIS might want to silence people like Malala?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234