Emotions

What do people fear?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. The things people fear can be classified as demographic, personal and universal. An example of the latter is a 2005 Gallup Poll that listed the top 10 things feared most by teenagers in the U.S.:

    1.Terrorist attacks

    2.Spiders

    3.Death

    4.Failure

    5.War

    6.Heights

    7.Crime and violence

    8.Being alone

    9.The future

    10.Nuclear war

    Many of these fears last through adulthood. Demographically, fears can be on a community, cultural or even regional level. For example, people in the Southeast are more likely to fear hurricanes, while Midwesterners fear tornadoes more than other Americans do. The idea that people could be conditioned to fear specific phenomena was proved by American psychologist John Watson in the 1920s, when he trained a toddler to be afraid of white rats. At first, 11-month-old Albert would happily reach for the rats whenever he saw them. By making a loud, scary sound whenever Albert reached for the rats, Watson quickly taught the baby to fear them and to cry and run at the sight of them. In fact, young Albert even became afraid of other furry animals.

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