Fear

Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat that causes animals to move quickly away from the location of the perceived threat, and sometimes hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response) but in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) a freeze or paralysis response is possible. Some psychologists such as John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that there is only a small set of basic or innate emotions and that fear is one of them. This hypothesized set includes such emotions as joy, sadness, and anger. Fear should be distinguished from the emotion anxiety, which typically occurs without any certain or immediate external threat.

Fear is frequently related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats which are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. It is worth noting that fear almost always relates to future events, such as worsening of a situation, or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable. Fear can also be an instant reaction to something presently happening. All people have an instinctual response to potential danger, which is in fact important to the survival of all species. The reactions elicited from fear are seen through advantages in evolution.

Read more about Fear:  Common Fears, Causes, Diagnosing Fear, Fear in The Amygdala, The Absence of Fear, Fears in Culture, Fear of Death, Fear of The Unknown, Overcoming Fear

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Famous quotes containing the word fear:

    Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely a loose application of the word. Consider the flea!—incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    Is a man too strong and fierce for society, and by temper and position a bad citizen,—a morose ruffian, with a dash of the pirate in him;Mnature sends him a troop of pretty sons and daughters, who are getting along in the dame’s classes at the village school, and love and fear for them smooths his grim scowl to courtesy. Thus she contrives to intenerate the granite and the feldspar, takes the boar out and puts the lamb in, and keeps her balance true.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    There is the fear that we shan’t prove worthy in the eyes of someone who knows us at least as well as we know ourselves. That is the fear of God. And there is the fear of Man—fear that men won’t understand us and we shall be cut of from them.
    Robert Frost (1874–1963)