23. Panic

A hyperactive reaction to stress leads to erroneous and dangerous actions. For example, a man may jump out of a window during a fire although the fire has not reached him, causing his premature death. It is obvious that panic influences and thoughts and actions of people in a stress condition. For example, famous engineer Barnes Wallis was described as a religious man and a pacifist during peacetime, but during World War II developed a plan of using “bouncing bombs” to destroy dams in Germany to flood the Ruhr valley18. This is an example of how panic and acute threats change normal modes of behavior. Panic can be long-term, not just acute. Short-term panic is also very dangerous, as a situation of global risk may develop very quickly, in hours or even minutes, and calm strategic decisions will need to be made in that time.