What is fear? = Chemicals
What causes fear? = Lack of perceived options
or How it is expressed? = Fight or Flight or Deer in headlights
Don't think it's that rational...I think it kicks in upon perception
of threat long before the option appraisal bit gets going.
That's a tad hyperbolic...by "long" I mean seconds or portions thereof.
Though in some folk (especially traumatised ones) the thinking bit
cannot really engage until the fear subsides.
I agree that FEAR
has to do with anticipation
of misfortune, "perception of threat"
not with direct n present experience of the hazzardous event.
Cases in point (contrasting with one another):
As a lad, while driving to college in the morning,
I felt fear, even to the point of painful constriction (intestinal spasm?)
for being incompletely
prepared for the day 's schoolwork.
On the other hand,
during the direct experience of a dangerous event
( having gunfire directed against me, while driving my car )
I felt no fear, and found it mildly humorous.
(Winston Churchill described that there is nothing so exhilerating as to be shot at with no effect.) I did not find it exhilerating,
but I got a little smile out of it; that and a broken side window. Fear was no part of it; it happened so fast n was over so quick
that I did not have time to become afraid.