Fear is one of the most basic human emotions. It is part of an instinctual response to potential danger. Biologically, the experience of fear activates the areas of brain known as the amygdala and the hypothalamus, and consequently triggers the release of chemicals, such as adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol, into the blood stream resulting in one or combination of responses which help in the flight or fight response. These responses are protective mechanisms to increase the chances of survival. These causes of fear are known to the many and other unknown causes are being diagnosed. Some people have persistent fear of things or situations, and these cases are known as phobia. There are many different types of phobia. Some of the most common ones are arachnophobia and ophiophobia. However, fear may not be an adaptive behavioral response, in some cases. An example is the fear of cemetery in many cultures. Scientific studies have been successful in showing that ghosts do not exist, but people still fear going to the cemetery at night. In this case, the fear is difficult to analyze because people may either have the fear of darkness or the fear of ghosts. Behavioral scientists have tried to answer these types of questions, but the conclusion of the study is mostly unclear because of the variability in the human subjects being studied. Studies on fear in animals have also been conducted, and it has been shown that animals also show fear behavior. Animals exposed to fear also show the response of flight or fight, but the trigger response for fear is different in animals. Though some cases of the fear in animals is analogous to humans, many of the issues still require further research for conclusive result to aid in understanding the science of fear in humans. The research on fear is important for the benefit of mankind. A fear can be beneficial if it cautions a person to stay safe and away from something that could be potentially dangerous. On the contrary, sometimes a fear is baseless and unnecessary, and causes more heed than the situation calls for.
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