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Fewer Norwegians are afraid of flying

Fear of flying in Norway has declined markedly since the 1980s, according to a new study, and for various reasons.

In 1986, 5% of Norway’s population never travelled by plane because they had what scientists call a “serious aversion”. Almost 30 years later, in 2015, the figure stood at as little as 0.5%, writes the science and research publication Forskning.no.

The reason why Norwegians are less afraid now is simply that they fly more, the researchers behind the study believe, as retold by the online news site Norway Today.

“We slowly become calmer when we learn that our horror fantasies do not happen, and that reality is becoming increasingly widespread,” professor and specialist in psychiatry Øyvind Ekeberg explains to Forskning.no.

“In addition, you get the effect of people flying more and getting more used to it. Many are now beginning to fly at a younger age, which means that as a child you learn that it is safe to fly.”

Fuzzing the fear
Many more nervous travelers fuzzed out the fear with alcohol or sedative tablets in the 1980s than is the case today. In 1986, 11% of Norwegian passengers would always drink alcohol on their trips, but 29 years later the figure had decreased to 7.5%.

In the case of sedatives, 3% took them in 1986, while 2% did so in 2015.

Ekeberg says that the risk of aircraft accidents is so small that he and his researchers are unable to find any quantitative concept for how small it is and that it is therefore adequate so say that it is zero.

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