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Unformatted text preview: sts often account for these differences by proposing that human beings, as a species, have a predisposition to develop
certain fears (Scher et al., 2006; Seligman, 1971).This idea is referred to as preparedness
because human beings, theoretically, are “prepared” to acquire some phobias and not
others.The following case makes the point: A four-year-old girl was playing in the park. Thinking that she saw a snake, she ran to her
parents’ car and jumped inside, slamming the door behind her. Unfortunately, the girl’s
hand was caught by the closing car door, the results of which were severe pain and several visits to the doctor. Before this, she may have been afraid of snakes, but not phobic.
After this experience, a phobia developed, not of cars or car doors, but of snakes. The
snake phobia persisted into adulthood, at which time she sought treatment from me.
(Marks, 1977, p. 192) •preparedness•A predisposition to
develop certain fears. ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 110 In a series of studies on preparedness, psychologist Arne Ohman and his colleagues
conditioned different kinds of fears in human participants (Lundqvist & Ohman, 2005;
Ohman et al., 1975). In one study they showed all participants slides of faces, houses,
snakes, and spiders. One group received electric shocks whenever they observed
the slides of faces and houses, while the other group received shocks when they looked
at snakes and spiders.Were participants more prepared to fear snakes and spiders? Using
skin reactions, or galvanic skin responses (GSRs), as a measure of fear, the experimenters 12/10/09 11:16:16 AM Anxiety Disorders :// 111 A CLOSER LOOK
Phobias, Familiar and Not So Familiar
Blood—hematophobia P Photo
Michael Caulfield/A Beards—pogonophobia Night—nyctophobia
Noise or loud talking—phonophobia
Pleasure—hedonophobia Books—bibliophobia Poison—toxiphobia Churches—ecclesiaphobia Poverty—peniaphobia Corpses—necrophobia Pregnancy—maieusiophobia Crossing a bridge—gephyrophobia Railways—siderodromophobia Crowds—ochlophobia Rain—ombrophobia Darkness—achluophobia, nyctophobia Rivers—potamophobia Demons or devils—demonophobia Robbers—harpaxophobia Dogs—cynophobia Satan—Satanophobia Dolls—pediophobia
Drugs—pharmacophobia Sexual intercourse—coitophobia,
cypridophobia Enclosed spaces—claustrophobia Shadows—sciophobia Eyes—ommatophobia Sleep—hypnophobia Feces—coprophobia Snakes—ophidiophobia Fire—pyrophobia
Germs—spermophobia Arachnophobia, not While many people
experience arachnophobia, a fear of spiders, a hardy few actually enjoy these and
other kinds of bugs. Here, Steve Kutcher,
a bug wrangler, holds a Chilean rose
tarantula (left) and an Emperor scorpion.
He has turned his childhood fascination
with bugs into a lucrative business, making
his many creepy crawlers available to t...
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