Fear with Confidence

Fear and confidence go hand in hand.  This might sound like an oxymoron, but new research suggests that it is in fact true.

A sociologist from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania led a study on men’s outward display of confidence while experiencing fear.  The study focused on mixed martial art competitors.

According to newswise, the findings, which appear in the December issue of American Sociological Association’s Social Psychology Quarterly, purport that successful management of fear may “create an emotional orientation that primes men to subordinate and harm others.”

Co-author of the study Dr. Christian A. Vaccaro goes on to state, “By signifying masculine selves through evoking fear and shame in others, such men are likely to more easily secure others’ deference and accrue rewards and status. Managing emotional manhood, whether it occurs in a locker room or boardroom, at home or the Oval Office, likely plays a key role in maintaining unequal social arrangements.”

The researchers affirm that managing emotional manhood, a term used in their study, “ is an interactional strategy for managing emotion and a means for conveying a social identity to others.”

To learn more about fear read this article from the Association of Psychological Sciences (aps) on existential fear.


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