There are For many years now, scientists are still searching the hidden facts about fear. It is a broad term about which researches are going endlessly. Until now, scientists have come up with a fantastic fact, i.e., human beings are born with only two fears. Amazing, right? You must be perplexed and wondering what the only two fears humans are born with are? Fear of falling and fear of loud noises are those two fears.
If you are pondering, what about the other fears we all have? Those fears are nothing but culture-embedded fears. We learned all those fears as we grow up. Either our elders have built those fears among us, or we have been through some accident that has left a grave mark on our minds. Let us discuss these inborn fears along with some other fears in human beings.
Fear of Falling
Have you ever noticed a child will never come down from the bed after seeing the height? He would fall unintentionally but deliberately never. He would either sit back, waiting for some other person to hold him, or look for another way out.
In the 90s, the Visual Cliff Experiment was done to evaluate the fear of falling embedded inside an infant’s mind. They have taken 6 to 14 months’ babies and also young animals for this experiment. The subjects were placed on a platform whose edges have the transparent glass. It was to visualize how many of them would step into the glass. As a final point, most of the subject and young animals did not go over or put their steps on the glass.
Fear of Loud Noises
The great neuroscientist Seth Norrholm’s works have focused on anxiety and fear. While explaining the reaction to loud noises, he said that you react with the acoustic startle reflex on hearing loud sounds. Besides, if the sound is large enough, one may even duck down his head. Loud noises signal dangerous things; hence they startle us. That is the innate circuitry we have.
Watson and Rayner conducted the Little Albert Experiment and demonstrated how classical conditioning conditions an emotional response. The subject was a 9-year-old boy named Little Albert. For instance, he was exposed to various stimuli: rabbit, rat, monkey, and a burning newspaper. However, he showed a fearless response towards them. The next day, a metal pipe with a hammer was hit by Watson. It made a loud noise, and the baby began to cry. It was repeated by pairing the loud noise with a white rat. Hence, the baby began to expect a terrifying noise whenever he saw the white rat. Eventually, the baby cries simply after seeing the rat.
Influenced by our culture and environment, we learned many fears. For instance, fear from snakes, spiders, darkness, and many more. They all are naturally learned fears. An infant is not afraid of spiders, but he developed those frightening feels by seeing his parents.
Studies have shown that if you ask a child above three years old or an adult to pick spiders, they will give terrifying reactions. Besides, if you ask them to pick flowers, you will observe an opposite reaction. The biasness we have carried all the time has resulted in those feelings. Spiders are not a threat to our survival. However, we react as if they were.
With growing age, there is an increment in fears. A young child might not know about scary things until his parents or society embed them into him over and over again. Till the point, he developed fear against it.
Does a Woman Fear More Than a Man?
The answer to the above question is yes. A study on specific fears and phobias between men and women demonstrated that 5.4% of females have various phobias than males, which is only 1.5%. The fear of animals in women is about 12.1%, while it is just 3.3% in men. Hence, women give higher ratings of fear compare to men.
These statistics were determined from randomly selected 704 respondents. They were aged between 18 to 70 years old. The analysis was based on the following classification;
- Phobia of animals, which includes snakes and spiders.
- Situational phobias. For instance, darkness encloses spaces, lightning, heights, and flying.
- Mutilation phobias. For example, fear from injections, dentists, and injuries.
Another research between men and women was done on social fear conditioning and social anxiety disorder. It was found that compared to men, women have a twice more social anxiety disorder. There were 60 contributors whose outcomes were divided into primary and secondary. The primary has different emotional reactions level. There were four levels, i.e., experience, behavior, psychophysiology, and reasoning. Simultaneously, the secondary was based on personal traits, heart rate, contingency ratings, and skin conductance response.
How to Overcome Fear?
Fear is not a bad thing. Besides, it has become a necessity for survival. It only gets worse if it becomes a phobia. Various studies have concluded that some of our fears can easily be overcome when we continuously face them. This exposure to our feathers will grow our tolerance level. Hence, it will help in overcoming them.
Below are few tips which will help you in overcoming them.
- Know your fear,
- Fear is normal,
- Face your fear,
- Foresee your fear,
- Practice your fear.
Know Your Fear
The first step in overcoming the fear is to be aware of fear. Hence, analyze your reaction towards your fear. Tell yourself it is normal to have fear and calm down your emotions. In case if you cannot manage yourself, there is no humiliation in seeking medical aid.
Fear is Normal
Being human beings, we all have various sorts of fears. In contrast, fear helps you in guarding against dangerous circumstances. Hence, we need to communicate ourselves and manage our fears.
Face Your fear
Exposing yourself to something you are afraid of helps in overcoming it to a greater extent. For instance, if you are afraid of cats. So, visit your friends who have cats and interact with them. Besides, your friends can also help you in dealing with cats. Hence, you can spend more time facing your fear.
Suppose a person is having social anxiety and avoids going to crowded places. Seek your friend’s help while being in a crowd or any gathering. Over time, you will eventually overcome it.
Foresee your fear
Whenever you are terrified of anything, visualize it. While being a healthy person, see what will happen if you face it. After facing it in the virtual world, you will face it more substantially in the real world. How? Because you have already face it in your mind. Hence, this will help you in facing your fear more effectively.
Practice Your Fear
Lastly, practice makes a man perfect. Hence, keep on facing your fear and managing your reactions. Till the day arrives when you will no longer be afraid of it.
To conclude, now you must know what the only two fears humans are born with are? Besides, those innate fears only aim to keep us motivated and alive. All the other culture-embedded fears are useful and worse at the same time. If you are not afraid of a person with a knife standing in the darkness, you might end up being dead. Hence, not all fears are wrong.