People are not afraid of spiders and snakes from birth


27/01/2011

Hollywood movie producers accidental shooting films like "Arachnophobia" and "Snakes on a plane": the majority of people terribly afraid of spiders and snakes. A new documentary research, published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, the journal of the Association for Psychological Science, conducted on children and infants found that we are not born with fear of spiders and snakes, and very quickly it is purchased.

One theory about why we fear spiders and snakes related to natural selection, which may have been favorable to the people who stayed away from these dangerous venomous creatures. In fact, several studies have shown that both humans and monkeys is easier to learn to be afraid of threatening things than non-threatening. For example, a study Arne Ohman at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that people can be taught to associate an electric shock with a picture of snakes and spiders or pictures of flowers and mushrooms, but the effect lasts much longer than in the first case. Similarly, a study by Susan Mineko (from Northwestern University) shows that monkeys that were created in the laboratory, are not afraid of snakes, but they are easier to learn to fear snakes than flowers or rabbits.

The authors of the current study examined how babies and children react to scary objects or things. In one experiment, they showed infants aged 7 months, two types of videos: first animals like snakes, and then kakih-nibud not dangerous animals, such as elephants. At the same time the video was accompanied by a voice to researchers who spoke frightening or happy voices. Children spend more time watching videos and listening to snakes terrible voice, but they did not show any signs of fear.

"We believe that the ability lies in a man really quickly determine things like snakes and spiders and associate them with bad things, such as a terrible voice," - said Vanessa Lobo, co-author of the study from Rutgers University.

In another experiment, the children of three years old were screened nine photographs and asked to select a certain target point. They identified snakes more rapidly flowers and much faster than other animals that look like snakes, such as frogs and caterpillars. Children who are afraid of snakes, to quickly deal with an election that was not developed that fear.

"Initial studies Ohman and Mineko with monkeys and adults have identified two important things that make the difference between snakes and spiders" - said Lobo. "One is that we find them quickly. Another is that we learn to be afraid of them really quickly." Its scientific study done on infants and children proves that fear develops in a person’s early life, but not innate, since small children are not necessarily afraid of snakes and spiders.

Original: Physorg Translation: M. Potter


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