WHAT IS FEAR?

Quintità Homini, Dejan Štifanić, 2019.

Fear is a basic human emotion. The mind and body, reason and thought, spirit and heart connect. Love, happiness, sadness, hatred, envy, desire… generate energy and influence various mechanisms in our social lives. The nature of emotions is biological, psycho-physiological, cultural-social and environmental: emotions emerge from the relationships of living beings and the environment, the world that surrounds us.

The wheel of emotions. Robert Plutchik, 1980. Wikimedia Commons, 2011.

The number of basic emotions depends from one to the other author. The most accepted theories underline six basic emotions (Paul Ekman, 1972) and eight (Robert Plutchik, 1980). In the wheel of emotions there are shown eight basic emotions with secondary derivations.


Il libro dei riti – Lĭjì
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Autore: Sconosciuto, prima del sec. X. Wikimedia Commons.

Fear is a universal emotion known to all people, regardless of cultural, social and historical context. It can be defined as an unpleasant feeling caused by a threat, a situation which we consider as dangerous, something that could harm us, cause pain or inflict damage in the wider sense. 

Biologically, humans share the experience and feeling of fear with animals. The reactions to fear, to something between escape and aggression, are common to both. However, people also know of another level of fear – a culturally and socially conditioned fear which additionally directs our behaviour, independently of the immediate presence of a threat.


Fear and the synonyms – etymology.

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