New Quiet Place movie adds to irrational fears over marauding aliens

I have been dreading the premiere of A Quiet Place: Day One, the just-released prequel to the movie franchise featuring blind but keen-hearing predatory aliens who invade Earth.

As a psychologist, I know that terrifying images from films and television shows can shape our judgements about real-world activities that seem superficially similar. As head of METI International, a scientific organisation that transmits powerful messages to nearby stars with the goal of messaging extraterrestrial intelligence, I know these vivid images of marauding aliens can provoke anxiety about research projects, even when our deepest fears can be rationally refuted.

Cognitive psychologists have…

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