It’s dark out, and you’re home alone. The house is quiet other than the sound of the show you’re watching on TV. You see it and hear it at the same time: The front door is suddenly thrown against the door frame.
Your breathing speeds up. Your heart races. Your muscles tighten.
The process of creating fear takes place in the brain and is entirely unconscious. There are two paths involved in the fear response: The low road is quick and messy, while the high road takes more time and delivers a more precise interpretation of events. Both processes are happening simultaneously.
The idea behind the low road is “take no chances.” If the front door to your home is suddenly knocking against the frame, it could be the wind. It could also be a burglar trying to get in. It’s far less dangerous to assume it’s a burglar and have it turn out to be the wind than to assume it’s the wind and have it turn out to be a burglar