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The question is very complex, although at first glance it does not seem so. Still, a lot has been said about the fear of clowns, but, oddly enough, no one names the reasons. I'll try to answer, I hope I succeed.
The creator of” It ” Stephen King says that fear is when you see a familiar object in an unusual environment. And in this sense, a clown is okay, but a clown in the forest is creepy, so you probably won't be happy to meet him there.
But the truth is that this explanation is suitable for writing a book or script, and does not explain why people are afraid of clowns in general. After all, they are feared both in the circus and outside, so in reality, fear works differently than in content creation. I think: the fear of clowns is the fear of what might be behind the mask. And here's why.
There is an interesting vanishing game for very young children. The parent hides his face behind his hands, and at this moment, as it were, disappears for the child, because he does not yet have causal relationships. Then the parent removes his hands, the child sees the familiar face again and rejoices. Then the parent's face disappears behind the hands again, and the child doesn't see it until the child takes his hands away. The principle is clear: we disappear – the child is surprised, we appear-he is happy.
There is a variant of this game where a mask is used instead of palms. The principle remains: hide your face behind a mask – the child is excited, remove the mask-happy native face.
Now imagine that you are playing such a game with a child, only you are wearing two masks at the same time. First, the child sees your face and is happy. Then you put on your masks and disappear for him. Then you remove the mask, but instead of your face, which he is already used to seeing, a second mask appears.
At this point, the children experience an attack of terrible, incomparable anxiety: not only is the usual behavior scenario destroyed, but their native face now seems to never appear at all. “Technically” this is the same horror that can be observed in adults with coulrophobia (fear of clowns). The affect is the same, the “emotions” are the same, although it is generally wrong to talk about emotions here.
If there are people who suffer from this phobia, write in the comments how much it responds. Provided, of course, that I managed to convey this state in the text)
We recognize a person's facial expressions, compare them with the one that we consider normal and recognize in them ideintical to us , our norms of reactions to the environment ( probably this will be more correct : )
A clown is a make-up that deliberately distorts facial expressions and hides those that we can recognize as ideintical – and the game itself – that is, the clown's facial expressions, intentionally distorted-increases the effect of the already applied one. What we see in the end does not pass the test of normality in our subconscious-therefore it violates the “stable picture of the world” and causes anxiety-which in turn, reinforced by personal experiences, turns into a phobia.
I think this is the case.
There is such a thing as an” Ominous Valley ” – a plot on the graph of the dependence of a person's emotional reaction on the human likeness of the observed object ( scientist Masahiro Mori).
Puppies that behave like humans are cute. Humanoid apes are rather nasty. A zombie is more frightening than a corpse, because it moves… http://m.maximonline.ru/article/16011
Clowns on this chart,as for me, are somewhere between dolls and Frankenstein.
“Ominous Valley” this is more about very similar, almost identical human faces. And the clown on the person already in any way pozhozh, the person in sense. I heard Psycholg's explanation on German TV about ten years ago. Fear is explained by the fact that a person is not able to interpret the emotions of the face behind makeup and therefore falls into a panic. �That is, he is afraid in fact not of the clown himself, but of a situation in which he loses control over it – the ability to interpret the intentions of an unknown person by emotions.
If you consider that the most dangerous animal for a person is another person, this is not surprising. For the sake of justice, it should be mentioned that the most powerful source of pleasure, both physical and emotional/spiritual for a person, is also a person. This is why we recognize faces in the clouds, because there is nothing more important for a person than to recognize another person, and later to recognize their intentions.
As the owner of this phobia, I will allow myself to answer the question with a question: why is not everyone afraid of clowns??? If you look at this character detached from the circus and children's (traumatic) holidays, then what do we have? A man, less often young, with a white face like a corpse's, crooked eyebrows and a huge mouth, red lipstick on his lips, terrible chemicals on his head (and possibly not only), a foam nose, children's clothes and giant legs, who has an unhealthy attraction to small children. At the same time, he has problems with the center of gravity, the vestibular apparatus and the release of fluids. It's not funny – it's SCARY.�
PS I didn't watch the movie” It”, I went outside in the circus while they were performing. Exactly for the reason I described earlier.)