Fight-Or-Flight Response


In 1929, Walter Cannon proposed ways in which the human body and nervous system, and those of other species, evolved to cope with immediate threats to their well-being and safety. These threats elicit strong emotions and prepare the body (e.g., increase in blood pressure, release of sugar for use by muscles) for a vigorous and immediate behavioral response to the threat—that is, either fighting or fleeing. The emotions Cannon focused on were fear and anger or rage. The emotion of anger suppresses fear, and the accompanying physiological changes prepare the individual for combat. The behavioral engagement in physical fighting was largely discussed as male-on-male combat, either in the context of war, a one-on-one contest, or during sporting events. Fear often results in similar physiological changes ...

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