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Science

WHY ARE WE AFRAID?

The suspense, the macabre stories and the moments of panic reproduced by horror films, far from frightening, attract us. Despite the tension, the restlessness and the spooky scenes, their success is remarkable. Why are we afraid and like it?

Fear is “an alteration of the mind that produces anguish in the face of danger or eventual damage, whether it is the product of the imagination or of reality”, psychologist Amaya Terrón explains to EFE-Reports.

“It can be said that fear is unpleasant for who suffers it” but “it also works as a survival method, since it puts people and animals on alert in the face of a threat,” she adds.

Types of fear

The specialist clarifies that there are innate fears, inherent to the species itself, and fears acquired through contact with the environment and that are established by learning.

Example of innate fears are those with which we are born, are the fear of loud noises, certain animals, darkness or death, among others; and, the acquired fears “have to do with the perception of risk” as an interpretation of certain situations that compromise our survival or our physical and emotional integrity.

The death, the fear par excellence

The psychologist indicates that we are afraid of everything we do not know or control and the death is fear par excellence in the human being.

Major titles in horror films such as The Exorcist, Poltergeist or The Shining base their success on stories sprinkled with supernatural phenomena and, in this sense, Amaya Terrón says that films seek fear through “ignorance, of the uncontrollable”.

Brain and fear

The psychologist points out that we are the only species that can feel fear without something in front that provokes it “nothing more than the imagination of our mind, the memory, the identification or the projection”.

“We have complicated brain structures that make us capable of all this,” she stresses.

Terrón states that, due to these processes, we can get to feel what the character of a film feels even though we are in the comfort of our living room, safe from all risks. (October 31, 2017, EFE/Reports/Practica Español)

News related in video (January 19, 2009):


Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read answer the questions)

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Question 1
En la noticia se dice que...
A
el miedo causa cierta atracción a pesar del malestar que pueda causar.
B
el miedo despierta cierta curiosidad en las personas pero nunca malestar.
C
nadie se siente atraído por aquello que nos asusta.
Question 2
Según el texto, todos los seres vivos experimentan de la misma forma el miedo.
A
Verdadero.
B
No se sabe.
C
Falso.
Question 3
Según la psicóloga, el ser humano...
A
no tiene miedos de carácter innato.
B
no tiene miedo de lo desconocido.
C
siente miedo hacia aquello que escapa de su control.
Question 4
Una persona que no está en peligro...
A
puede sentir el miedo que está teniendo otra persona.
B
no es capaz de empatizar con otra que siente miedo.
C
no se asusta de lo que está causando miedo a otra.
Question 5
Según el texto, el miedo a lo desconocido...
A
no ha sido utilizado por las mejores películas de terror.
B
no asusta a las personas que están viendo una película.
C
es un aspecto muy utilizado en las películas de terror.
Question 6
Según la psicóloga, el miedo está relacionado con el hecho de querer sobrevivir.
A
No se sabe.
B
Falso.
C
Verdadero.
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