Tag Archives: tarantula

My, What Big Teeth You Have! Threatening Objects Appear Closer

When we’re faced with things that seem threatening, whether it’s a hairy spider or an angry mob, our goal is usually to get as far away as we can. Now, new research suggests that our visual perception may actually be biased in ways that help motivate us to get out of harm’s way.

Our bodies help us respond to threats by engaging our fight-or-flight response and enabling us to act quickly: Our heart rate and blood pressure ramp up, and we produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. But research suggests that the body may also demonstrate its preparedness through certain perceptual biases. (more…)

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That Giant Tarantula Is Terrifying, But I’ll Touch It

Expressing your emotions can reduce fear, UCLA psychologists report

“Give sorrow words.”

—Malcolm in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”

Can simply describing your feelings at stressful times make you less afraid and less anxious?

A new UCLA psychology study suggests that labeling your emotions at the precise moment you are confronting what you fear can indeed have that effect.

The psychologists asked 88 people with a fear of spiders to approach a large, live tarantula in an open container outdoors. The participants were told to walk closer and closer to the spider and eventually touch it if they could. (more…)

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