Fear and Surprise Quiz

Ellen Turner Leave a Comment

1. True or false: Surprise can’t last more than a few seconds at most

Correct! Wrong!

Surprise is the briefest of all the emotions, lasting only a few seconds at most. In a moment, surprise passes as we figure out what is happening. Then surprise merges into fear, amusement, relief, anger, disgust, and so forth, depending upon what it was that surprised us. Or, it may be followed by no emotion at all, if we determine that the surprising event was of no consequence to us.

2. Of the following, which is NOT true regarding the differences between surprise and startle?

Correct! Wrong!

The timing of the startle response is even more constrained than surprise- the expression is always apparent in a quarter of a second and is over in half a second. It is so fast that if you blink, you will miss seeing someone’s startle. Being told you are about to be startled by a very loud noise reduces, in most people, the magnitude of the reaction, but doesn’t eliminate it. Alternatively, you can’t be surprised if you know what is going to happen. No one can inhibit the startle reaction, even if one is told exactly when a loud noise will occur. Many of these differences come from the fact that startle is a physical reflex, rather than an emotion, like surprise.

3. What is the most crucial part of the face for distinguishing between fear and surprise expressions?

Correct! Wrong!

The upper eyelid is lifted higher in fear than in surprise, exposing more sclera (white of the eye).

4. Which of the following is NOT a part of the fear family of emotions?

Correct! Wrong!

Dr. Ekman found evidence for seven universal emotions (fear, surprise, anger, sadness, enjoyment, contempt and disgust). Within each emotion, there are countless variations, leading Dr. Ekman to describe each emotion as constituting a family of related affective states, which share commonalities in their expression, physiological activity, and in the types of appraisal which call them forth. These shared characteristics within an emotion family distinguish one emotion family from another. For example, fear can range from slight trepidation to extreme horror and terror. They are very different experiences, but can all be categorized into the family of fear.

5. What is NOT considered one of the most common fear triggers?

Correct! Wrong!

Some other most common triggers for fear include: darkness or loss of visibility of surroundings, death and dying.

6. Choose which picture accurately displays a fear expression.

Correct! Wrong!

C shows fear, whereas all the other expressions show surprise.

7. Three of the following are reliable muscle actions for the facial expression of fear. Which is NOT?

Correct! Wrong!

The facial expression of fear is often confused with surprise. While both expressions show distinctly raised eyebrows, a fear expression's eyebrows are straighter and more horizontal whereas in surprise they are raised and curved. The upper eyelid is also lifted higher in fear than in surprise, exposing more sclera (white of the eye). Finally, the lips are tensed and stretched in fear but more open and slack in surprise.

8. According to Dr. Ekman, three factors determine how intensely we feel fear. Which of the following is NOT one of those factors?

Correct! Wrong!

Dr. Ekman distinguishes the experience of fear with three factors. Intensity: How severe is the harm that is threatened? Timing: Is the harm immediate or impending? Coping: What, if any, actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the threat? Generally, the more significant or severe the threat is, the greater our fear response. When we are able to cope with the threat, this generally lessens or removes the fear. Alternatively, when we are helpless to decrease the threat of harm, this intensifies the fear. Whether a threat is immediate or impending can greatly impact our experience of fear. An immediate threat can either focus our attention and mobilize us to cope with the danger, or it can leads us to become overwhelmed and freeze. An impending threat can feel more distant and less intense, or we might ruminate on it for a longer time, without taking any action, thus prolonging our experience of fear.

9. True or false: the facial expression for surprise is the opposite of the startle expression

Correct! Wrong!

In surprise, the eyes open wide, the eyebrows raise, and the jaw drops open. In startle, the eyes close tightly, the eyebrows lower, and the lips stretch tensely.

10. What is the universal function of fear?

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The universal function of fear is to avoid or reduce harm. Depending on what we have learned in the past about what can protect us in dangerous situations, we are capable of doing many things we wouldn’t typically be able, or willing, to do in order to stop the threat. The immediate threat of harm focuses our attention, mobilizing us to cope with the danger. In this way, fear can actually save our lives by forcing us to react without having to think about it (e.g., jumping out of the way of a car coming at us). The evolutionary preset actions of fear include fight, flight and freezing.

11. Which of the following is an “unlearned” or innate trigger for fear?

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Other unlearned triggers for fear include: something hurling through space quickly (which will hit us if we don’t duck), the sudden loss of support (which would cause us to fall) and possibly the sight of snakes (more research needs to be done to confirm this).

12. Which of the following is NOT a physiological response to fear?

Correct! Wrong!

In fear, heart rate and blood pressure increases and blood flows towards your limbs to help prepare you to fight or flee. Other regulatory functions, such as digestion, temporarily slow down or cease as more energy is diverted and devoted to coping with the immediate threat. During fear, cortisol (the primary stress hormone) is released which actually decreases the release of dopamine (which happens in response to a reward).

13. Can you recognize this micro expression?

Correct! Wrong!

Accurately and consistently recognizing micro expressions takes practice, but with the proper training, anyone can learn! Check out our online training tools to start detecting micro and subtle expressions of fear and surprise (as well as all the other universal emotions) in your everyday life. Jump start your training in under an hour and you just might be surprised at how much of a difference it makes!

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