Now surprise, it is the sense of astonishment, wonder, or amazement that is caused by something sudden or unexpected. The experience of surprise varies with the importance of the outcome, as well as beliefs about the outcome.

The discrimination of fear and surprise may be reflected in the brain activity patterns that underlie facial expression recognition. A fear expression indicates a potential threat, whereas surprise conveys a sense of novelty or unexpectedness.

What is the adaptive function of fear? What does fear tell us is going on in our environment? In brief, fear tells us that there’s a threat or a danger present. It’s probably safe to assume that compared with our ancestors, in this day and age we have little to fear in our day-to-day lives.

In today’s episode Jake explains how the concept of surprise and fear is relevant to many aspects of human behavior. It also affects beliefs about other events. When a person takes an unexpected stance that violates his or her self-interest, the person’s arguments are surprising and quite often more persuasive.

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