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Xenophobia is a fear or contempt of foreigners or strangers and people . It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning "foreigner," "stranger," and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear." The term is typically used to describe fear or dislike of foreigners or in general of people different from one's self.

Fear of the unknown

Fear of the unknown or irrational fear is caused by negative thinking (worry) which arises from anxiety accompanied by a subjective sense of apprehension or dread. Irrational fear shares a common neural pathway with other fears, a pathway that engages the nervous system to mobilize bodily resources in the face of danger or threat. Many people are scared of the "unknown". The irrational fear can branch out to many areas such as the hereafter, the next ten years or even tomorrow. Chronic irrational fear has deleterious effects since the elicitor stimulus is commonly absent or perceived from delusions. Such fear can create comorbidity with the anxiety disorder umbrella. Being scared may cause people to experience anticipatory fear of what may lie ahead rather than planning and evaluating for the same. For example, "continuation of scholarly education" is perceived by many educators as a risk that may cause them fear and stress, and they would rather teach things they've been taught than go and do research.

The ambiguity of situations that tend to be uncertain and unpredictable can cause anxiety in addition to other psychological and physical problems in some populations; especially those who engage it constantly, for example, in war-ridden places or in places of conflict, terrorism, abuse, etc. Poor parenting that instills fear can also debilitate a child's psyche development or personality. For example, parents tell their children not to talk to strangers in order to protect them. In school, they would be motivated to not show fear in talking with strangers, but to be assertive and also aware of the risks and the environment in which it takes place. Ambiguous and mixed messages like this can affect their self-esteem and self-confidence. Researchers say talking to strangers isn't something to be thwarted but allowed in a parent's presence if required. Developing a sense of equanimity to handle various situations is often advocated as an antidote to irrational fear and as an essential skill by a number of ancient philosophies.

Fear of the unknown (FOTU) "may be a, or possibly the, fundamental fear".

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Xenophobia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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