Science Study: verbally acknowledging fear helps dissipate it

Wired:

According to a study published by a team of psychologists, telling a spider you are frightened of its ugly and terrifying self is the path to setting yourself free from a fear of arachnids.

Methods of modifying human behaviour when it comes to battling fear range from shaping that behaviour through positive reinforcement or acclimatising an individual to a feared object through systematic desensitisation. Regulating emotions through positive verbal reinforcement is also a popular practice — for instance, encouraging those afraid of spiders to approach the arachnid in question while repeating the words “that spider can’t hurt me and I’m not afraid of it”.

However, a UCLA team of psychologists has decided to try a new tact — looking that spider in the eye (all eight of them) and telling it just how terrified of it you are. Naming an emotion, the team suggests, is the way to set yourself free of being bound to it.

Read the whole story: Wired

Leave a comment below and continue the conversation.

Comments

Leave a comment.

Comments go live after a short delay. Thank you for contributing.

(required)

(required)