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Thread: Why do spiders create such dread in some people?

  1. #1

    Why do spiders create such dread in some people?

    Why do insects create such dread? This is along the lines of another topic that asked why babies are so cute... why have insects evolved to create such fear amongst humans? Wouldn't tarantula's be better off if they don't provoke fear?


  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    Wouldn't tarantula's be better off if they don't provoke fear?
    They're so small compared to humans. I think it's to their advantage that
    people run in the opposite direction when they see them.

  3. #3
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    Oh my and the little girl is smiling......

    I really don't know where my fear comes from but I got chills when I looked a the picture.

    I am fine as long as they are outside but when they come in the house, they create anxiety and even a few panic attacks for me.

    Much the same with tornados but I can trace that fear back to the second grade when a tornado passed by our school and we had to do the drill but it was not just a drill that time. Alot of our teachers were in a panic which created panic in us kids.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    Why do insects create such dread? This is along the lines of another topic that asked why babies are so cute... why have insects evolved to create such fear amongst humans? Wouldn't tarantula's be better off if they don't provoke fear?
    Spiders are NOT insects. Those are two separate classes of animals (insecta and arachnida) that fall under the phylum arthropoda. They're even under different subphylums.

    Sorry, that's just one of my pet peeves. As to the actual point of your question, my current working theory is that spiders and bugs are about the most different form of life as compared to humans that exists on this planet. They are so entirely "other" that it provokes an overreaction of our natural instinct to be protective of our own and to be wary of that which is different.

    And obviously not everyone is afraid of spiders. Many cultures view them in very high regard.

    Spider Brings Fire to the People

    C.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
    Oh my and the little girl is smiling......
    Probably because that would tickle. Even a spider that big is still rather light and their toes are quite delicate.

    C.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
    Oh my and the little girl is smiling......

    I really don't know where my fear comes from but I got chills when I looked a the picture.

    I am fine as long as they are outside but when they come in the house, they create anxiety and even a few panic attacks for me.

    Much the same with tornados but I can trace that fear back to the second grade when a tornado passed by our school and we had to do the drill but it was not just a drill that time. Alot of our teachers were in a panic which created panic in us kids.
    I came across this the other day.

    Girls are primed to fear spiders

    The sight of eight long black legs scuttling over the floor makes some people scream and run – and women are four times more likely to take fright than men. Now a study suggests that females are genetically predisposed to develop fears for potentially dangerous animals.

    David Rakison, a developmental psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, found that baby girls only 11 months old rapidly start to associate pictures of spiders with fear. Baby boys remain blithely indifferent to this connection.

    In an initial training phase Rakison showed 10 baby girls and boys a picture of a spider together with a fearful face. In the following test phase he let them watch the image of a spider paired with a happy face, and the image of a flower paired with a fearful face.

    Despite the spider's happy companion, the girls looked significantly longer at it than at the flower. The researchers took this to mean that the girls expected spiders to be linked with fear. The boys looked for an equal time at both images.

    Not born in me

    With a different group of babies, Rakison first showed a spider with a happy face, and a flower with a fearful face. Now the girls too looked at both images for the same length of time – implying that they did not have an inborn fear of spiders.

    The results suggest that girls are more inclined than boys to learn to fear dangerous animals. By contrast, says Rakison, modern phobias such as fear of flying or injections show no sex difference.

    He attributes the difference to behavioural differences between men and women among our hunter-gatherer ancestors. An aversion to spiders may help women avoid dangerous animals, but in men evolution seems to have favoured more risk-taking behaviour for successful hunting.
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    I was just watching a spider climb up my leg last night watching tv. I don't usually bother them, and luckily, they don't seem to bother me. Maybe they bite me and I can't feel it, hell if I know, but I don't recall ever feeling like I was bitten, or seeing a bite mark on my body.

    Black widows are another matter, I'll kill 'em dead just to be on the safe side.
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  7. #7
    Spiders are an invading species from outer space!
    Andrew

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rdf View Post
    Black widows are another matter, I'll kill 'em dead just to be on the safe side.
    I will never understand this. People are so much more likely to be harmed by a cat or dog or another human being, but they don't automatically kill any unknown examples of those animals that wander into their yard. I think it's just because spiders are small and the mess is easier to clean up. And because so many people have an irrational fear of them.

    C.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Racing View Post
    I will never understand this. People are so much more likely to be harmed by a cat or dog or another human being, but they don't automatically kill any unknown examples of those animals that wander into their yard. I think it's just because spiders are small and the mess is easier to clean up. And because so many people have an irrational fear of them.

    C.
    No fear, just self-preservation.

    Not outside, but when a female black widow makes its way into my bed or recliner.

    And I don't worry about the mess, I eat the remains for payback for what some do to their hubbies.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    Many people also have an irrational fear of snakes - perhaps there is an evolutionary adaptation in a majority of humans which produces an innate dread of venomous animals?

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