How useful is fear?


I’m Phuong, Quang’s sister, would you mind helping me correct the essay about the topic below? This is a summary of an article. Thank you very much.

Article topic: … of/559121/

In the past, Franklin D. Roosevelt definitely meant to be gentle when he stressed, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” A quick and frightening tour through the scholarly material on fear, though, shows how much heavy lifting that only does.

First and foremost, the reason we struggle with fear is that we are at the same time primitive and well-developed for our own sake. Our lizard brain is extremely effective: Accelerated signals to the amygdala threaten within 74 milliseconds of the smallest sign of danger. This speed has overcome the eons, has helped us from extinction. But it also leads to false alarms.

Secondly, part of the problem is that the oldest fear of our ancestors is still with us. Even infants have a fighting reaction or fly with images of snakes and spiders, perhaps as a result of instinct rather than experience. Deep inversions like this are powerful enough to distort our sense of reality: People with spider veins have the ability to overestimate the size of spiders relative to other organisms.

In the wake of 9/11, airplane fell sharply in the United States because many people chose to travel by car. A German psychologist estimated that in the 12 months following the attack, 1,595 people were killed in a car crash more than expected in a normal year. This figure is six times the number of passengers (246) killed on four attacked aircraft. At its worst, then, the fear can be counterproductive, yielding results that we have feared from the beginning.

So in the end, we face an undeniable but unsatisfactory reality: The only thing we have to fear is corruption, clowns, diabetes, small coffee bubbles, the consequences, unwillingness and fear.

TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between two students in a chemistry class


Hi, your summary is not too bad, though in many places you have not paraphrased, but copied too many words directly from the article. And in other places, you don’t seem to really understand what the article was trying to say. Here are my suggestions: