Why Do People Experience Fear?

One of the most perplexing and seemingly baffling questions in the psychology field is why humans experience fear. In fact, this question has been the object of research by nearly every psychologist and neuroscientist for the past 50 years or so. Part of the problem is that no one has been able to find a definitive answer because the brain is such a mysterious structure. Indeed, it is still unclear why fear causes so much of our behavioral responses.

Why Humans Experience Fear

Some theories on the matter suggest that humans fear when they are faced with a familiar situation. For example, if two people know that they will be hypnotized, then their fear of hypnosis will be increased because they have previously been afraid of going to a hypnotist. In addition, there are many psychoanalysts who believe that some fears are actually good and are protective instincts that were designed by our ancestors. However, these theories are still widely debated by many in the scientific and psychiatric community.

What we do know is that, across the board, most people fear something that they perceive as dangerous or strange. It could be walking into a room where snakes are present, walking into a room where they see blood or gore, or even just riding a bike home after being out in nature. In fact, many animals experience fear in similar situations. Why humans do not seem to is an enigma. All we can think of is that maybe they are all just afraid differently.