Fear Quiz

How much do you know about the science of Fear?

Welcome to spooky season.

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Our fear response starts in which part of the brain?

A. Prefrontal Cortex

B. Amygdala

C. Hippocampus

D. Parietal Lobe


B. Amygdala. The amygdala is responsible for your knee-jerk response to a stimulus, like an actor jumping out at you in a haunted house. Your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex then interpret context, telling you that you’re not actually in danger.


What hormone does your brain tell the adrenal gland to secrete when the body is in a state of fear?

A. Adrenaline

B. Testosterone

C. Cortisol

D. Serotonin

A. Adrenaline. When your brain reacts to a threat, the adrenal gland releases adrenaline, a hormone that can give us an energy boost.


True or False: A small dose of fear, in a controlled setting, is actually good for your mental health.

A. True

B. False

C. It’s complicated.

A. True. Psychologists say that exposing ourselves to fear can help us build resilience to real scary experiences in the future.


Is the feeling of fear even real?

A. Yes, duh

B. No, duh

C. Well...it’s complicated


C. Well...it’s complicated. It’s not that fear isn’t real, it’s just that scientists can’t yet experimentally parse the emotional feeling of fear from its many physical manifestations, like anxiety, defensiveness, or aggression.


True or False: Humans can smell fear.

A. True

B. False

C. It's complicated

A. True. In a recent study, scientists collected sweat from men watching a scary movie. When other study participants, smelled the sweat, they showed a fear response.


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