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Thread: Arachnophobia

  1. #1
    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    Arachnophobia

    Hypodermic needles, houseflies: both potentially threatening or repulsive but neither elicit the same response in the subjects of a recent experiment. The gut reaction of the many who experience arachnophobia, and 4 % of the UK population say they do, is not learned but seems to be innate.

    Common or garden house spiders pose no threat to us, but the sight of a scurrying bundle of legs in the corner of a room is enough to make many feel either fear or disgust. While of no danger to us now, the theory is that some dangerous species may have been common during our evolutionary history. A number of species with potent venoms populated Africa before hominoids and have co-existed there for tens of millions of years.

    Joshua New, Department of Psychology, Barnard College, New York City, and colleague Tamsin German, published their findings in the paper "Spiders at the cocktail party: an ancestral threat that surmounts inattentional blindness' in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. They write, "The human visual system may retain ancestral mechanisms uniquely dedicated to the rapid detection of immediate and specific threats (e.g. spiders and snakes) that persistently recurred throughout evolutionary time."

    Spotting the arachnophobe

    Subjects were shown abstract images including other fear and repulsion triggers such as needles and flies: of the 252 people reviewed in the study, most recognised the spiders much more quickly than other images known to induce fear. Spider images got more attention; the viewers spotted them and knew what they were. The authors reported that, "Despite their highly marginalised presentation, iconic spiders were nonetheless detected, localised, and identified by a very large proportion of observers.

    Their test, said the authors, made use of the 'inattentional blindness paradigm' in which an unexpected, peripheral stimulus is presented coincidentally with a central task-relevant display. "Spiders," say the authors, 'may be one of a very few evolutionarily-persistent threats that are inherently specified for visual detection and uniquely 'prepared' to capture attention and awareness irrespective of any foreknowledge, personal importance, or task-relevance."

    The results, they said, supported the hypothesis that humans 'may possess a cognitive mechanism for detecting specific animals that were potentially harmful throughout evolutionary history."

    This is not the first time the phenomenon has come under examination. In 2008, the study "Do infants possess an evolved spider-detection mechanism?" appeared in the journal Cognition. The research revealed that babies looked at spiders longer than they looked at other images.

    Authors David Rakison and Jaime Derringer talked about, "an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats."

    Rakison told Inside Science that, "At least with children, there's very little conflicting evidence that spiders and snakes have some kind of privileged nature in human visual processing."

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-spiders-dna.html#jCp
    I don't mind spiders, but I'm totally repulsed by cockroaches

  2. #2
    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    My favorite phobia is Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. The "fear of long words".

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    I don't mind spiders, but I'm totally repulsed by cockroaches
    Oh Lordy, me too. YUCK! They're the worst, just foul looking. I always check the grocery bags to make sure I'm not importing one.

    Spiders are horrible too. Weren't you afraid of that gigantic spider in "The Lord of the Rings"? I was doing the old look through my fingers routine. :)



    I don't like any bugs, though, or bees either. I think it has something to do with that swarming in a hive thing.

    I really don't like birds, either. Yesterday, a flock of blackbirds went through and since everyone seeded their lawns they all stopped for a snack! At one point it looked like they were heading right for my picture window. I had to leave the room. Maybe I've watched "The Birds" too often. :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D15HPy4x73g

    I wouldn't call any of these things a phobia, though.

    Strangely, although I'm obviously cautious around them, snakes don't bother me. My mother had a real phobia, though, so much so that she'd shudder and turn away even if she saw one on tv. When she came across one outdoors, she would go practically rigid with fear and start screaming. Then she'd go into action! One day we heard her make this blood curdling scream. When we reached her she was still screaming as she stood over a decapitated snake clutching her hoe. Honestly, she was as good as Saint Patrick. Anyone who wanted a snake free environment just had to invite my mother over. :)


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    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    I don't mind spiders, but I'm totally repulsed by cockroaches
    I just looked it up. You suffer from Katsaridaphobia.

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    ..........
    Attached Images Attached Images
    mmmmmmmmm dooouuughhhnuuuutz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Oh Lordy, me too. YUCK! They're the worst, just foul looking. I always check the grocery bags to make sure I'm not importing one.
    Spiders are horrible too. Weren't you afraid of that gigantic spider in "The Lord of the Rings"? I was doing the old look through my fingers routine. :)

    I don't like any bugs, though, or bees either. I think it has something to do with that swarming in a hive thing.
    I really don't like birds, either. Yesterday, a flock of blackbirds went through and since everyone seeded their lawns they all stopped for a snack! At one point it looked like they were heading right for my picture window. I had to leave the room. Maybe I've watched "The Birds" too often. :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D15HPy4x73g
    I wouldn't call any of these things a phobia, though.
    Strangely, although I'm obviously cautious around them, snakes don't bother me. My mother had a real phobia, though, so much so that she'd shudder and turn away even if she saw one on tv. When she came across one outdoors, she would go practically rigid with fear and start screaming. Then she'd go into action! One day we heard her make this blood curdling scream. When we reached her she was still screaming as she stood over a decapitated snake clutching her hoe. Honestly, she was as good as Saint Patrick. Anyone who wanted a snake free environment just had to invite my mother over. :)
    Growing up, I was always really fascinated by sharks, and Jaws was my favorite movie. But I'm pretty weary of going into deep water, at the beach. Especially if I'm by myself, and the water is murky. I much prefer the clear water down in the Caribbean, than the north Atlantic. Mostly for the fact that I can see what's going on down there. :)

    When it comes to spiders, I really don't feel much of anything. I can even pick them up by their legs, like daddy long legs, and let them outside. If they're smaller, I pick them up with a tissue. For some reason I feel bad about killing them, and urge who ever is around me to re frame from doing so.

    Possums are also really ugly and alarming looking. But If I see a mouse or rat scurrying in the subway, I do get a bit grossed out too, but not scared necessarily.
    But when it comes to roaches, I turn into the biggest chicken . Especially those gigantic waterbugs that fly . They're probably the absolute worst creatures on the planet; the American cockroach, that is. Those wingless ones that come in various colors don't inspire the same kind of disgust I have for the winged ones. They're just freakish looking, and make my skin crawl. They seem to have no fear of humans either, and will scamper towards them. When I finally muster up the courage to kill them, I stomp on them as if I'm putting out a fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by firetown View Post
    I just looked it up. You suffer from Katsaridaphobia.
    100% true!
    Last edited by Jovialis; 28-10-17 at 00:57.

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    I should get myself one of these.

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    I have it too and I'm disgusted by almost all bugs, even reptiles to some degree.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

  9. #9
    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    I am wondering if it would be considered a phobia if you never ate squid because you cannot get over how those things look.

  10. #10
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    I think we must seperate the repulsive/disgust with the phobia and the 'magnetism' they have upon us,

    I feel disgusting with cockroaches and flies, to a degree of phobia, but not a phobia

    I have a small phobia with spiders and scorpions only If I am gonna sleep in a room and see a web, or out in the country,
    but not as long as I am awake.

    and I have a phobia with snakes cause they have a way to 'magnetise' me
    I feel like stanned by their colours, speachless and moveless, and something pushing me to catch them,
    offcourse I can control myshelf,
    but something inside me is attracted by them.
    ΟΘΕΝ ΑΙΔΩΣ OY EINAI
    ΑΤΗ ΛΑΜΒΑΝΕΙΝ ΑΥΤΟΙΣ
    ΥΒΡΙΣ ΓΕΝΝΑΤΑΙ
    ΝΕΜΕΣΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΙΣΗ ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΟΥΣΙ ΔΕ

    When there is no shame
    Divine blindness conquers them
    Hybris (abuse, opprombium) is born
    Nemesis and punishment follows.

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    Η τιμωρια δεν αργει.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Wheal's Avatar
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    I am terrified of spiders, I think because I've been bitten a number of times. I'm so paranoid I've considered wearing a dust mask to bed. And yes my husband vetoed that idea. I was very careful though, not to scream in front of my boys as they were growing up, but they still don't like them.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    the most dangerous spider in Europe
    is the Λυκος, Lycos the wolf spider,
    it lives in S Italy and the modern name is after Tarantas the Tarantela.

    man and women working at fields, at the middle of the day or at night they rest to Φουρνοι Furnoi, stone chamber to provide shadow and protection from sun,
    usually help to dry things,
    tarantela the wolf spider were hidden there, and bite them,
    but sometimes in cases of women that was dangerous,
    so the Grico found a healing method by dancing,
    That dance today is one of the most famous in the world,




    so next time you see a spider,
    just think that a simple dance is enough.
    and you exorcism the 'bad' with a dance,
    not with a stupid exorcist

  13. #13
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheal View Post
    I am terrified of spiders, I think because I've been bitten a number of times. I'm so paranoid I've considered wearing a dust mask to bed. And yes my husband vetoed that idea. I was very careful though, not to scream in front of my boys as they were growing up, but they still don't like them.
    I'm not really afraid of the ones I see here in the northeastern U.S., although I certainly don't like them magnified, as in movies!

    However, I'd certainly be afraid of them in certain parts of the world. They have very nasty varieties of spiders in the American southwest, for example. A friend of mine was bitten while camping and had to have quite extensive medical treatment.

    There's also tarantulas, as has been said, and venomous snakes, and bugs that can burrow under the skin.

    As was stated above a lot of insects are poisonous. Heck, even bees, as much as we have always valued their honey, can be vicious, and some people can even die from a bee bite.

    I wouldn't outright deny that there could be a sort of collective unconscious fear of certain creatures.

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