I'm currently working on a chapter in my book which applies the theory I've developed by integrating the theories of fight-or-flight, stress, and emotion to understand such things as fear and courage.
Many refer to the fear of failure, dishonour, shame, letting your mates down as being a bigger fear than the fear of death and injury and which motivates a person to fight rather than flee in military combat. Based on my research, I wondered if the first mentioned fear is a 'real' fear, one that involves an appraisal, subjective feeling, automatic physiological reaction, and impulse to act? Searching for an answer to that question led me to the work of Jon Elster.
Elster distinguishes between visceral (emotional) and prudential (rational) fear. Visceral fear is an emotional experience whereas rational fear is an intellectual exercise.
How does the rational fear of failure, dishonour, shame, letting your mates down overcome the fear of death and injury and turn flight into fight? The answer to that lies within the decoupling of stimulus and response in emotion. The decoupling of stimulus and response means that emotion is more than simply stimulus-response, e.g. danger-run away. It provides an opportunity for other actions to be considered and/or enacted other than the emotionally motivated action, e.g. fight instead of fear although fearful.
So how does the rational fear of failure, etc, promote fight rather than flight when fearful? That rational fear motivates willpower or the exercise of intellect to fight rather than flee even though fearful. That rational fear is part of the 'courage process.'