Scare is an expression of alarm at finding a minor danger worrying. Being scared is an expression that shows an experience of mild fear. The motions associated with being scared are moderate and represent the mild intensity caused from a perception of danger.

Being scared is reached through surprise at a negative thing. When a person is surprised, the instinctual reactions are a preparation for another emotion. In one fluid motion the mouth, lungs and eyes open in coordination with each other. The opening of the eyes also lifts the eyebrows. The heart rate increases a few beats a minute. A little gasp of air is drawn and held to aid hearing.
When a surprising event turns out to be negative, the expression towards that event morphs into being scared. The eyes open more as they fix on perceived danger, so the eyebrows are pulled further up which wrinkles the forehead. Another quick breath may be taken that moderately erects the posture from an inflated chest area. The muscles around the mouth become quite loose.

The body may freeze as if to evade notice. Blood is drained from specific areas of the body, such as the hands and head, making them cold. The skin of such areas becomes paler from decreased blood flow. As they are preparing to run, blood is pumped to the legs. The head is typically lowered, as if crouching, and the back may be moderately hunched into a strangely shaped shrug-like posture. A brief expression of surprise can be seen milliseconds before the face becomes more serious and worry stricken.

The word “scare” comes from frightening the timid or shy.


Old Norse. Skjarr = to frighten, timid, shy.

1. A sudden fright or alarm, especially with little or no reason.

2. A general state of alarm; a panic.