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Study: Fear Of Spiders/Snakes May Be Innate

Dorathy Gass

With Halloween over and done with many may be revealed that they don’t have to walk through the neighborhood staring at houses decorated with all that is scary: evil snakes, ghostly ghouls, vampires, zombies, and eerie spiders. Time to ring in the holidays and everything that is festive!

Still, if spiders and snakes make you shiver, don’t feel so bad, a new study reveals that is might be an instinct you were born with.

Fearing snakes or spiders seems to be a phobia that is quite common all across America. A YouGov poll conducted in 2014 discovered approximately 48% of Americans were frightened by spiders and 64% by snakes. Some cases revealed that these phobias were traumatic enough that they decreased an individual’s quality of life; with nightmares that interrupt sleep and those who refuse to leave their home because they are scared of seeing a snake.

A study team recently reviewed data from 16 babies that were around the age of six months. For the research, the babies were presented with pictures of flowers, fish, snakes, or spiders. As the authors noted, the fish and flowers were simply used for comparison reasons.

Medical News Today reveled that the team reviewed the baby’s’ response to each photo by analyzing their pupillary dilation. The team discovered that those little ones that looked at images of spiders and snakes had pupils that were larger, versus those that looked at photos of flowers and fish.

The team feels that the results indicate that a fear of snakes or spiders might be something some are born with, and it seems likely there is an evolutionary origin around this. The team added that overtime and including elements such as a parent’s fear of snakes or spiders themselves, this reaction could eventually develop into a bonafide phobia.

So, if you are one of those people who are terrified by snakes or spiders, don’t fret over the idea too much or feel silly about it. In the end, maybe you were just born with it!

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