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The ethological deconstruction of fear(s)

Authors
  • Mobbs, Dean
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2018
Source
Caltech Authors
License
Unknown

Abstract

The natural world presents a myriad of dangers that can threaten an organism's survival. This diversity of threats is matched by a set of universal and species specific defensive behaviors which are often subsumed under the emotions of fear and anxiety. A major issue in the field of affective science, however, is that these emotions are often conflated and scientists fail to reflect the ecological conditions that gave rise to them. I attempt to clarify these semantic issues by describing the link between ethologically defined defensive strategies and fear. This in turn, provides a clearer differentiation between fears, the contexts that evoke them and how they are organized within defensive survival circuits.

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