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Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snakes and Spiders: Blame Culture for Phobias

Not long ago, there was a (dumb) study publicized about how children recognize snakes from other elongated animals, so this somehow explains why "everyone" is afraid of snakes. A more competent researcher has now pointed out that while snakes and spiders elicit attention, they certainly don't provoke automatic fear. For that, look to the media and other sources which spread negative reports about the animals. (As anyone who's done snake talks can attest, most children are excited to meet and touch snakes. Those who are fearful tend to a) have parents who have taught them to be afraid, or b) have had a specific negative experience (been bitten, or scared by one).)

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