|Primary emotions||Secondary emotions||Tertiary emotions|
|Fear||Horror||Alarm • Fear • Fright • Horror • Hysteria • Mortification • Panic • Shock • Terror|
|Nervousness||Anxiety • Apprehension • Distress • Dread • Nervousness • Tenseness • Uneasiness • Worry|
The distinction between horror and terror is a standard literary and psychological concept applied especially to Gothic literature and film. Terror is usually described as the feeling of dread and anticipation that precedes the horrifying experience. By contrast, horror is the feeling of revulsion that usually occurs after something frightening is seen, heard, or otherwise experienced. It is the feeling one gets after coming to an awful realization or experiencing a deeply unpleasant occurrence. In other words, horror is more related to being shocked or scared (being horrified), while terror is more related to being anxious or fearful. Horror has also been defined as a combination of terror and revulsion.
Alarms have the capability of causing a fight-or-flight response in humans; a person under this mindset will panic and either flee the perceived danger or attempt to eliminate it, often ignoring rational thought in either case. We can characterise a person in such a state as "alarmed".
With any kind of alarm, the need exists to balance between on the one hand the danger of false alarms (called "false positives") — the signal going off in the absence of a problem — and on the other hand failing to signal an actual problem (called a "false negative"). False alarms can waste resources expensively and can even be dangerous. For example, false alarms of a fire can waste firefighter manpower, making them unavailable for a real fire, and risk injury to firefighters and others as the fire engines race to the alleged fire's location. In addition, false alarms may acclimatise people to ignore alarm signals, and thus possibly to ignore an actual emergency: Aesop's fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf exemplifies this problem.
- -- See main article Fear
Fear is an unpleasant emotion brought about by the idea of coming danger, either real or imagined. Fear often arises out of proportion to the actual threat involved - often, the fear of something is worse than the actual thing. Fear is comparatively easy to cause, and can be difficult to get rid of once it's there.
Like most emotions, fear is particularly intensive in children, and tends to become easier to get under control as people grow older.
Fright is a state of extreme fear of something that is strange, ugly or shocking.
- See main topic above
Hysteria, in its colloquial use, describes a state of mind of unmanageable emotional excesses. People who are "hysterical" often lose self-control due to an overwhelming fear that may be caused by multiple events in one's past that involved some sort of severe conflict; the fear can be centered on a body part, or, most commonly, on an imagined problem with that body part
- -- See main article Mortification
Mortification of the flesh literally means "putting the flesh to death". The term is primarily used in religious and spiritual contexts. The institutional and traditional terminology of this practice in Catholicism is corporal mortification.
Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight or flight reaction. Panic may occur singularly in individuals or manifest suddenly in large groups as mass panic (closely related to herd behavior).
The word panic derives from the Greek πανικός, "pertaining to shepherd god Pan", who took amusement from frightening herds of goats and sheep into sudden bursts of uncontrollable fear. The ancient Greeks credited the battle of Marathon's victory to Pan, using his name for the frenzied, frantic fear exhibited by the fleeing enemy soldiers.
Acute stress reaction (also called acute stress disorder, psychological shock, mental shock, or simply, shock) is a psychological condition arising in response to a terrifying or traumatic event. It should not be confused with the unrelated circulatory condition of shock.
The onset of a stress response is associated with specific physiological actions in the sympathetic nervous system, both directly and indirectly through the release of epinephrine and to a lesser extent norepinephrine from the medulla of the adrenal glands. The release is triggered by acetylcholine released from pre-ganglionic sympathetic nerves. These catecholamine hormones facilitate immediate physical reactions by triggering increases in heart rate and breathing, constricting blood vessels in many parts of the body—but not in muscles (vasodilation), brain, lungs, and heart—and tightening muscles. An abundance of catecholamines at neuroreceptor sites facilitates reliance on spontaneous or intuitive behaviors often related to combat or escape.
- See main topic above