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Questions tagged [fear]

The feeling experienced when there is a perceived threat of danger to one's own or another's personal safety. The emotion, possibly, triggering the "flight and fight" response. Possibly an extension of anxiety.

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Is “not going to doctor because of fear of illness” a psychological disorder?

Some people don't like to go to the doctor because they are afraid of being diagnosed sick in medical examinations or being diagnosed exacerbated when they have an illness even they know if they don't ...
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Proven psychological or scientific means of scaring people? [on hold]

I have scoured the Internet for tips and tricks on writing horror, and they all say the same thing: rudimentary, broad-stroked, open-ended, mostly unhelpful articles and lists about "know what scares ...
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How is the relationship between hypothalamus and homeostasis & fear and how does it evolve across human development stages?

This is my claim, or what I [mis?]understood: Hypothalamus is well-known for its role in homeostasis (self-regulation including, but not limited to, temperature/energy) and also reactions / stimuli ...
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What determines whether sensitization or desensitization occurs?

I am familiar with desensitization. For example, if you are afraid of driving, driving every day will eventually reduce your fear, desensitizing you. But today I came across another concept, that of ...
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Is there evidence for people being afraid of something they cannot pinpoint?

A recent question here has highlighted a fairly common cliché in entertainment: a purported inability to identify/pinpoint the source of one's fears or anxiety. In psychology there's an somewhat ...
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Diagnosis for consistently preceiving mild displeasure as personal threats?

I'm aware the site does not accept self-help questions, but I think this one can be answered in a situation-independent way. So Is it possible for someone to exaggerate mild displeasure (justfiable ...
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Word for naming your negative self-talk to overcome it

I'm trying to find some research - or at least a professional analysis - on the concept of naming your negative self-talk so that you can "take away its power" - that is, separate it from yourself and ...
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Why pale when we fear and red when we are angry

I find it hard to explain why we turn pale when we fear but red when we are angry. In both emotions adrenaline is released which if I am not mistaken cause vasoconstriction in vessels going to the ...
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Episodic-memory amnesia preserving fear conditioning

Are there any experiments in humans where despite episodic-memory amnesia they still preserve (associative) fear conditioning developed during the episode/event that is lost from episodic memory? I'm ...
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Understanding fear as a response in classical conditioning

I have difficulties to understand fear as a response to a stimuli. In my view fear occurs as a anticipation of a possible threat in the (nearby) future. Fear prepares the organism so that it can react ...
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What is the point of living a life if we're all going to eventually die? [closed]

So I've had this question over the past week since New Years. I am currently 21 years old and yea, time flies so fast. New years just feels like one year closer to death. Can you believe it? The ...
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How does fear paralysis occur?

(This question is in relation to this question here) How does fear paralysis occur? What is the mechanism that makes this happen in brain?
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How can fear paralysis be overcome?

For a person with slight phobia of fear paralysis, (A fear that in critical situation when he will most need to react fast to save his (or loved ones) lives he will just be sitting there paralyzed ...
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Is fear of darker skinned people a shared psychological maladaptation brought on by subconscious childhood Achluophobia?

Let me be clear that my intentions here are peaceful in light of recent race relation issues in the United States; I want to bring this issue to the forefront, because fear of dark skinned people is ...
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Can information in the media increase fear of something?

I'm working on an essay trying to link an increased fear of something with information received from the media about it and I'm trying to find out if there are any studies on the matter. Let me give ...
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Are there reliable ways to distinguish anger from fear, be it through body, mind, internally, externally?

I've read about some of the differences, but they may be opinions not supported by best scientific evidence. I think the limbic system, in particular amygdala and hippocampus would be activated in ...
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Are we trying to motivate ourselves by combinating safe stressful situations with pleasure regards? [closed]

When there's a stressful situation with no real danger like we need a hug or we stress-eat. Are we trying to develop in our brain networks a fear of actually dangerous situations instead of fear of ...
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Does oxytocin reduce brain activity?

In the book "Psychologie" by Richard J. Gerrig, Philip Zimbardo I read there are studies claiming that: "die gegenwärtige Forschung legt nahe, dass das Hormon eine facettenreiche Rolle bei ...
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The limits of fear: Could one really survive an encounter with the Alien? [closed]

Please help me out in my effort to better understand the emotion of extreme fear. I will use the example of Ridley Scott’s film “Alien” featuring H.R. Giger’s Xenomorph preying on the crew of the “...
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How does one explain the irrational fear of approaching problems? [closed]

There is a particular problem I've had since as long as I can remember , but I always managed to shove it to the back of my head and ignore, albeit acknowledging its existence. I'll provide a bit of ...
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Epigenetics and serotonin (amygdala threat response)?

In this article it states that: Increased promoter methylation of the serotonin transporter gene predicted increased threat related amygdala activity. I'm finding this somewhat difficult to ...
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How do some humans seemingly naturally have positive or mitigated appraisal of stressful events?

Appraisal is how an individual interprets a stressful event or a problem. For recurring problems, I understand that there are neuroanatomical structures that play a role in the appraisal of recurrent ...
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Is fear in response to the sight of predators innate or acquired?

Children of very small age have less knowledge. They have very limited knowledge about harm, fear, etc. Can children feel fear with such little knowledge? Let us assume a child is playing in the ...
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Analyze subconscious/unconscious scientifically [closed]

Is there a way to analyze human subconscious/unconscious scientifically in some way? I mean for example to help me better understand my fears, insomnia etc. There are many people out there who offer ...
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Paul Ekman suggests that in near-accidents, fear motivates people to hit their car brakes. Is the fear response fast enough to do this?

Recall a time when you were driving your car and suddenly another car appeared, going very fast, seeming as if it were about to hit you. Your conscious mind was focused on an interesting ...
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How can fear be a positive emotion?

Fear is something we all feel, and we typically experience it as negative. It seems difficult to treat it as a positive emotion or find any satisfaction in overcoming it. So my question is: Can ...
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Why do people fear statistically unlikely things?

Over 10 times more people die in circulatory diseases than accidents (source). Nevertheless people (in general) fear accidents more than circulatory disease. There are statistically even more ...
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What is fear in humans and what does it do? [closed]

From researching conventional understandings of fear, it can be a response to a perceived dangerous situation. But this definition seems very limited because fear seems to depend very much on context. ...
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How can depression and fear be effectively managed in people who know they will die soon?

Are there any efficient ways to overcome the fear and depression before death (supposing you know you are going to die soon) ?
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Can anxiety cause a heart attack, black-out or insanity?

David Burns in his self-help book about overcoming depression, anxiety and interpersonal problems called The Feeling Good Handbook¹ states: ...neurotic anxiety results from distorted thoughts that ...
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Morita therapy - does it have a western counterpart?

I have recently read interesting article about Morita therapy. I have a hard time finding articles,books or research on this subject, and how it works in the West since this therapy was developed and ...
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Why is surprise, sudden loud sound or movement an element of fear?

Why is it that a sudden loud sound or movement, or some kind of surprise tends to invoke fear? This phenomenon is not restricted to humans and can also be observed in animals Sheldon Cooper brought ...
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Fear of things that look like or resemble humans

I remember reading this a while back. To be clear, I'm not talking about a phobia such as Automatonophobia (Fear of inanimate objects that resemble humans, such as dolls) or Pediophobia (Fear of dolls)...
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What are the neurological mechanisms for a fear of heights when atop a building, but not in a plane?

A fear of heights (or acrophobia), can be debilitating (I know it can be for me). My question is what is the neurological mechanisms that cause a fear of heights in a tall object such as a skyscraper ...
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Why are people afraid of things that they know are harmless or non-existent? [closed]

Why are people afraid of things that they know are harmless or non-existent? For example: Why do horror films/stories leave people scared after they have finished? Someone may see a harmless spider ...