The more you know, the better you trust what you do. The psychology part is more of a tactical approach where you learn all the dangers, and response to them, and learn that you will have fear but you need to react correctly and most important within the time constraint.
While the attacker will be more confident since he had the time to plan and be a step ahead of the game, you should analyze your environment to avoid dangerous situations constantly. You should also learn how to react at each environment timely by avoiding getting yourself into more danger.
You can learn to identify the intentions of your opponents by their actions and therefore surprise them and be ahead of them during the confrontation. At this point your opponents' confidence will have more fear than yours.
Since we cannot read our opponent's minds, and since responding to an attack is too late, we respond to capabilities.
That means that if someone is standing two steps away from us, he could kick us before he could punch us or grab us in a choke hold.
Therefore we should not assume that since it is a woman the man will not kick her first but try to grab her.
Although, in most cases that might be the case, there is no reason to skip that training step in the chain of defense. So if the opponent is moving in an alarming speed, you execute a defense vs. kick and counter attack.
If he was moving slow you did not respond to a dangerous attack, since his speed was too slow, but now he is close, and you see his hand moving fast to hit you so you respond with defense vs. hand strike, but what if he got closer to you slowly, and now got you in a quick choke hold, then you need to get out of it and counter attack.
So basically you need to learn how the human body with two hands and two legs can be used as a weapon in the best way, and then devise the best defenses against it. It would help you with your defenses that are tested vs. the best trained and skilled attackers and with your counter attack to end the fight quickly and increase your survival chances.