Fear, it’s an instinct that resides in all of us. But why do we feel fear and why do some seek fear. During a trip to Thorpe Park I spoke to various guest to find out what ride they feared the most and why?
So what is fear? How does it work? The emotion of fear is hardwired into all creatures. These questions plagued my mind as I asked several guest of Thorpe Park to share their thoughts on the rides that they feared.
“Nemesis Inferno, your legs are dangling. You got to trust that you put your shoes on tight”.
Understandable not wanting to lose your latest kicks but a fear of losing material possessions is common among adults.
“Saw the ride, as I’ve seen the film series and a lot of my friends have been on it”
Our early perceptions of what makes us fear is further exaggerated by what our friends and other sources such as the media can tell or show us. But why do we feel fear? Why do some of us stop and the rest continue on like it is a walk in the park. The same fear could be transferred from our minds to a film/game, especially if we immerse ourselves the experience.
Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things, also known as the fight-or-flight response. The stimulus could be a spider, a knife at your throat, an auditorium full of people waiting for you to speak or the sudden thud of your front door against the door frame.
In many situations, it is rational to fear another person. For example, if someone physically threatens you, the best response is to get away from that person as soon as possible. However, few of our interpersonal dealings involve such dire threats. It’s more likely that you would fear those who may cause you to lose your job, relationships, self-esteem, or something else of high emotional value.
It’s important to examine your inner reactions to the people in your life in order to understand them that much better. So why do we watch horror films, play a scary game or go on a roller coaster. Its because of epinephrine, more commonly known as adrenaline, is a hormone secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands. Strong emotions such as fear or anger cause epinephrine to be released into the bloodstream, which causes an increase in heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure, and sugar metabolism and many of us get a buzz from this.
In addition to adrenaline, fear releases a hormone called dopamine that’s also associated with pleasure.
I enjoy roller-coasters they are fun and scary at the same time. You can’t experience this feeling anywhere else.