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Margee Kerr
Margee Kerr, PhD

I’ve dedicated my career to learning everything I can about the up sides and the down sides of fear.


University of Pittsburgh

About Margee Kerr

Margee Kerr is a sociologist and author. She earned her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches and conducts research on fear. Specifically, she examines how and why people engage in scary experiences like haunted attractions, horror movies, and paranormal investigations. Findings from her research offer insight into how people manage stress and what positive gains can result from challenging fears.

Margee is a regular presenter and public speaker at events such as TEDxFoggyBottom and conferences hosted by organizations such as the Society for Affective Science and The Franklin Institute, where she speaks on topics related to fear and dark tourism. She also serves as a consultant for attractions and museums, including the International Spy Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, where she advises on how to create engaging, informative, and entertaining content regarding the science of fear.

Margee is the author of SCREAM: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear and coauthor of OUCH! Why Pain Hurts, and Why It Doesn’t Have To (with Linda Rodriguez McRobbie). Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Parade, The Atlantic, NPR’s Science Friday, and The Guardian.

By This Professor

Understanding and Overcoming Fear