the extent to which a person's fear keeps them from doing something; any feeling of fear that prevents an action
Recession marketing: avoiding the fear factor.
It has never had the fear factor of black leather or steel-toe boots.
America would be the biggest loser in a game of international food fear factor.
Really, that fear factor is an indictment of who we are—not an indictment of some hypothetical alien species.
Those expectations, naturally, were not to turn everyday life into an unwitting episode of fear factor.