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Title: A phenomenological exploration of fear in everyday life
Author: Karlou, Gkolfo
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2011
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Fear is a natural phenomenon often avoided due to its aversive nature or embarrassing character. Traditionally, fear has been studied empirically in humans and animals. Research on human fear has been mainly quantitative aiming to classify it in terms of common and uncommon fears, holding implications of normality. This existentialphenomenological study approaches fear in its everyday normative form. It attempts to explore how everyday fear affects our life and individual psychology. Six people shared with me their lived experience of being afraid in semi-structured interviews conducted for the purposes of the present study. The interviews were analyzed following Colaizzi's (1978) method and the findings are presented in themes and in a final statement revealing the essence of the phenomenon under investigation. Fear was found to be a complex experience, often evoked by some kind of anticipated pain that the individual wishes to avoid. Fear was found to be in close connection to change, choice, regret, death and loss. It brings a sense of lack of control and uncertainty and it affects the individual in behavioural, mental, emotional and physical levels. Acknowledging one's fear may be instant or gradual, and it may also lead to action. Reflecting on one's fear experience becomes possible at a later point. In therapy, fear is brought up as part of other issues and not as fear as such. Talking about one's fear in therapy can be helpful, unhelpful, neutral, or even painful. In some cases, naming one's fear and verbalizing it makes the person feel less scared.
Supervisor: Adams, Martin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available