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.
Famous quotes containing the word fear:
“However great a mans fear of life, suicide remains the courageous act, the clear- headed act of a mathematician. The suicide has judged by the laws of chanceso many odds against one that to live will be more miserable than to die. His sense of mathematics is greater than his sense of survival.”
—Graham Greene (19041991)
“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
—Bible: New Testament, Matthew 10:28.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
—Bible: New Testament 1 John, 4:18.