Science investigates some of life's common concerns

Lise A. Johnson (Author, Rocky Vista University), Eric Chudler (Author, University of Washington)

Overview | Contents

How scientific reasoning explains our most common daily fears—from germs to natural disasters and everything in between.

Quick--what do you worry about most? Your cell phone giving you cancer? The public bathroom you’re using being dirty? GMOs in your food? An asteroid strike? Something else?

In this witty and evidenced-based book, Lise Johnson and Eric Chudler get to the root of our worries, all the while using science to help tame the anxiety beast. 

News media, social media, and every mom blog in the world are continuously flagging new things for you to worry about. From obsessing over Lyme disease-infested ticks to worrying about amusement park safety, no-one is immune to the pervasive effects of anxiety brought on by normal, everyday activity. Each topic in this wide-ranging book is subjected to scientific scrutiny, and assigned a place on the “worry index,” with the authors concluding the only things worth worrying about are those those that can cause significant harm, are likely to happen, and are (somewhat) preventable.

Whether you are a constant worrier or a stick-your-head-in-the-sand-and-hope-for-the best sort of person, you’ll find something to love in this witty and informative book.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • February 2019
  • ISBN 978-0-393-71289-6
  • 5.7 × 8.6 in / 312 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“[A] cleverly conceived and well-executed examination of a host of common sources of worry. . . . [T]he open-minded will find a resource that is both useful and enjoyable.” — Publishers Weekly

“In Worried?, Dr. Johnson and Dr. Chudler have created an absolutely delightful guidebook to help all of us, from the casually anxious stray-thought worriers to the deeply obsessed safety-checklist warriors, deal with the stressors of the modern world.  Rigorously researched, appropriately fact-checked, and uproariously witty, this little tome is a must have quick reference for that age old nagging question, ‘How bad is that, really?'” — Devapratim Sarma, PhD, Scientist & Neural Engineer, Rehab Neural Engineering Labs, University of Pittsburgh, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University

“Few of us are able to make sense of the scientific literature for ourselves, but Chudler and Johnson have done the spade work for us, assembling the most reliable findings about the things that worry us all. They apply scientific reasoning to everyday situations in a fun and accessible way. The authors’ wry tone and winsome humor brought a smile to my face even as I read about things that might kill me some day.” — Adam Baker, PhD., Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota

“Don’t worry. Or, rather, worry sometimes, but only a certain amount, and only if you can do something to control the situation. From airplane crashes to sugar, Worried? walks us through common fears of the contemporary world, providing simple answers to the often challenging question ‘Should I be worried?’ Anchored by science and simplified with diagrams, Worried? is an elegant and fun guide to navigate our era of information overload.” — Nathan Insel, Ph.D., Department of Psychology and Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience, University of Montana

“With new technologies and fads arriving daily, Dr. Johnson and Dr. Chudler use the principles of scientific research to investigate common worries ranging from asbestos to microwaves to gluten. As a pediatrician, I not infrequently encounter parents with these fears. I appreciate the humor and scientific rigor with which they sort through the cacophony of available information to advise us which anxieties are worth our attention—and which are not.” — Carrie Nedrud, MD, Pediatrician

“In an artfully crafted exposé, Worried? considers a collection of vignettes of the modern world likely to have roused implicit concern. Anyone who has re-considered ordinarily accepted elements of our existence will find this guide a beacon. The authors ability to weave science and statistics together with clarity cleverly reveal those anxieties which should bubble to the level of our awareness and those which we should not lose sleep over.” — Kurt Weaver, PhD., Assistant Professor of Radiology, Instructor, Human Form and Function Thread & Mind, Brain and Behavior Block, University of Washington School of Medicine

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