From HandWiki
Short description: Excessive or exaggerated alarm about a real or imagined threat

Alarmism is excessive or exaggerated alarm of a real or imagined threat. Alarmism connotes attempts to excite fears or giving warnings of great danger in a manner that is amplified, overemphasized or unwarranted. In the news media, alarmism can often be found in the form of yellow journalism where reports sensationalise a story to exaggerate small risks.[1]

Alarmist personality

The alarmist person is subject to the cognitive distortion of catastrophizing – of always expecting the worst of possible futures.[2]

They may also be seeking to preserve feelings of omnipotence by trying to generate anxiety, apprehension and concern in others.[3]

False accusation

The charge of alarmism can be used to discredit a legitimate warning, as when Churchill was widely dismissed as an alarmist in the 1930s.[4]

See also


  1. "The Risk of Poor Coverage of Risk". Columbia Journalism Review. 
  2. P. Gilbert, Overcoming Depression (1999) p. 88-90
  3. T. Pitt-Aikens, Loss of the Good Authority (1989) p. 99
  4. M. Makovsky, Churchill's Promised Land (2007) p. 140-1