Hot answers tagged

11 votes

Is there a mental condition that makes people unconditionally gullible?

Worldbuilding may have beaten you to this: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/99881/15591 Williams Syndrome is not, strictly-speaking a purely mental condition. It is "caused by a genetic ...
user avatar
  • 211
11 votes
Accepted

Is there a mental condition that makes people unconditionally gullible?

Some neurodegenerative diseases cause extreme gullibility, in particular Alzheimer Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the scientists were able to determine which parts of the brain govern a ...
user avatar
  • 9,915
11 votes
Accepted

Why do people fear statistically unlikely things?

This is a great question. There isn't a single reason for this phenomenon. There is a genetic predisposition to certain fears. Though humans are bad at statistics, evolution is quite good at it. ...
user avatar
11 votes

How can fear be a positive emotion?

So this may be long-winded, but I gotta get through some theoretical background first! Conceptual Act Theory If we take from the Conceptual Act Theory (CAT) of emotions (Barrett, 2014), then we can ...
user avatar
  • 4,256
10 votes
Accepted

Paul Ekman suggests that in near-accidents, fear motivates people to hit their car brakes. Is the fear response fast enough to do this?

This was much longer than I expected! There's quite a bit of ground to cover, but I try to go over it quickly. So, there are two implicit theoretical assumptions in your question: We have an "affect ...
user avatar
  • 4,256
9 votes

Is fear in response to the sight of predators innate or acquired?

Alright, so my familiarity with this area primarily comes from Vanessa LoBue's work. And what I get from her research is that we don't really know if certain fears are innate or acquired. LoBue seems ...
user avatar
  • 4,256
7 votes
Accepted

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

What you are describing is most likely avoidance, which in itself isn't a disorder. People are most likely afraid of the illness in itself, and so not going to the doctor means that they don't have ...
user avatar
  • 375
5 votes
Accepted

Word for naming your negative self-talk to overcome it

What you are talking about is the powerful technique of Compartmentalisation. As highlighted in the Wikipedia link I provided here, normally speaking (emphasis mine) Compartmentalization is a ...
user avatar
  • 11.1k
4 votes
Accepted

How do some humans seemingly naturally have positive or mitigated appraisal of stressful events?

The interactions among several factors probably account for variability in reactivity to stressful events, including genetics, epigenetics, early life experience, and culture (e.g., Alexander et al., ...
user avatar
  • 4,256
4 votes
Accepted

Why fear is the opposite of desire and not disgust?

Just because two phenomena (partially!) share brain architecture does not mean they are experientially similar or opposite. There is little understanding of how neuronal activity creates conscious ...
user avatar
4 votes

What determines whether sensitization or desensitization occurs?

The terminology in this area can be a source of confusion because sensitization is not usually meant as the opposite of desensitization but of habituation. E.g., Blumstein (2016) People have ...
user avatar
  • 9,915
3 votes

Why pale when we fear and red when we are angry

The 5F response (fright/flight/fight/freeze/fawn response) to threats is responsible for both situations. Specifically, among other reactions, the 5F response causes the following: [emphasis mine] ...
user avatar
  • 11.1k
3 votes

Why does campfire lighting look creepy?

There are situations as you mentioned where light can be from below, but they are extremely rare in our evolutionary past. Fire is quite recent: remove that one. Reflections from water or snow would ...
user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Are there reliable ways to distinguish anger from fear, be it through body, mind, internally, externally?

The most conservative answer is that we can reliably distinguish anger from fear if we constrain our examination to a particular context, a set of stimuli, or a person. However, studies on emotions ...
user avatar
  • 4,256
3 votes
Accepted

What causes fear of vaccines and how can it be alleviated?

You ask a good question and I'm sure you're not the only one in a situation like this. Unfortunately, I don't think that anyone here could provide an exact answer for you, or anyone in a similar ...
user avatar
  • 499
2 votes

How can depression and fear be effectively managed in people who know they will die soon?

I'm no expert on imminent death handling but I have some concepts to share. My suggestions are general suggestions that don't only apply for this scenario but that can be applied more generally, ...
user avatar
  • 129
2 votes

Why do people fear statistically unlikely things?

This is because human beings assess the probabilty of an event in a roughly proportional dependence of the emotions its imagination triggers or the emotion its experience triggered. I have read of a ...
user avatar
  • 131
2 votes

Can information in the media increase fear of something?

Can information in the media increase fear of something? Yes of course, let's see what these learning processes are. Common processes employed by psychology in order to explain the development of ...
user avatar
  • 1,039
2 votes

Analyze subconscious/unconscious scientifically

Those courses you mention are a part of a much larger "personal development" market that really boomed in the 90s, and keeps going on ever since. There's a book called "Letting go: a ...
user avatar
  • 9,302
2 votes

When does a fear of something constitute a phobia?

The DSM-5 criteria for Specific Phobia are: A. Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood). Note: In children, ...
user avatar
  • 5,817
2 votes
Accepted

What are the possible causes of coulrophobia?

Coulrophobia is a fear of clowns. It is a phobia not (yet?) acknowledged by the WHO or the APA as a disorder. Nonetheless it seems to be an accepted phobia in hospitalized children (Meiri et al, ...
user avatar
  • 19.6k
2 votes

How is the relationship between hypothalamus and homeostasis & fear and how does it evolve across human development stages?

TLDR: the hypothalamus is involved in fear processing, but not in the way you think. Wikipedia has a decently sourced article on the hypothalamus and it does play some role in fear processing: Fear ...
user avatar
  • 9,915
2 votes

Episodic-memory amnesia preserving fear conditioning

As a sort of partial answer, but since it's too much to add to the question itself... a more encompassing question would be whether fear conditioning can occur without awareness of the conditioning ...
user avatar
  • 9,915
2 votes
Accepted

Diagnosis for consistently preceiving mild displeasure as personal threats?

Short answer Paranoid personality disorder and social anxiety disorder come to mind. Background Perhaps you are after paranoia, which is thinking and feeling as if you are under threat even though ...
user avatar
  • 19.6k
2 votes
Accepted

What is the relationship between fear and desire?

The Atlas of personality, emotion and behaviour (Mobbs, 2020) is able to visualise emotions in two dimensions: affiliation and dominance. Fear is considered submissive and disaffiliative. Desire is ...
user avatar
  • 1,688
1 vote

Word for naming your negative self-talk to overcome it

I do not believe compartmentalization is the answer to the original question. The original question is about naming, identifying, not separating which is compartmentalization. Two people can have ...
user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

How does fear paralysis occur?

Taken from here The Fear Paralysis Reflex begins to function very early after conception and should normally be integrated before birth. It can be seen in the womb as movement of the head, neck and ...
user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Does oxytocin reduce brain activity?

Short answer The dreaded it depends. Background This question was discussed behind the scenes in chat and we concluded with the consensus on explaining why this question is hard to answer. Basically,...
user avatar
  • 19.6k
1 vote
Accepted

How does one explain the irrational fear of approaching problems?

Fear of failure (Atychiphobia) is a form of specific phobia that may to some degree explains your situation. However, please DO NOT instantly think/feel that you're experiencing a mental disorder or ...
user avatar
  • 156
1 vote

Epigenetics and serotonin (amygdala threat response)?

From my limited understanding... First off, you're definitely interpreting this correctly. The authors note: […] methylation of the proximal promoter of human SLC6A4 predicts threat-related ...
user avatar
  • 4,256

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible