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Obviously surprised facial expression (actress Carol Burnett )
Attentive cat , surprised by a sound

With surprise is called the experience of unforeseen situations , feelings or encounters unexpected words , gifts and the like. In New Scientist magazine , surprise was defined as "change in expectation due to the arrival of new data".

Surprising causes almost always confusion and / or violent emotions - and therefore mostly spontaneous physical reactions such as changing eyes or looking up, blushing , laughing , hand, head or foot movements, twitching and so on.

The feelings triggered can be pleasant (light, warm) or uncomfortable (dark, defensive, etc.) - depending on the situation, type of person, personal constitution or the triggering person. This can lead to uncontrolled exclamations .

Surprises should not be alien to animals either and are often answered - as is the case with humans in dangerous situations - through protective instincts or reflexes .

The tactic of surprising an opponent has military advantages. See surprise (military) .

Element of surprise

In connection with the formulation of business or sales contracts, the term element of surprise means a subjectively perceived surprise (or deception) by the customer. This element of surprise can also then - z. B. through inexperience - be perceived if the clause in question is objectively recognized as customary or if this clause was expressly and additionally referred to in the contract.

When timing rapid processes and manual stops in astrometry or in sport, moments of surprise cause the reaction time to be extended . For foreseeable events, the delay is about a tenth of a second , which roughly corresponds to the cognitive processing time. In the case of completely surprising events (e.g. in traffic ), it can extend to what is known as a moment of shock.

Information theory

The surprise value (or information content) of an event or a message depends - regardless of the context - on the reciprocal value of the probability of occurrence.

See also

Web links

Commons : Surprise  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: surprise  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. New Scientist, January 17, 2009, p. 9
  2. Martin Schwab General Terms and Conditions Law: Tips and Tactics , Hüthig Jehle Rehm, Heidelberg, Munich, Landsberg, Berlin (2007), p. 86