How ‘Doctor Who’ Helped Scientists Figure Out Why We Fear Spiders


Most of us fear spiders. Why? Well I can only speak for myself, but they are somewhat creepy and I have fought enough of them as end bosses in video games to know they are up to no good. But scientists have recently been using Doctor Who to help them figure out WHY we fear spiders so much (and so irrationally).

From i09:

In order to figure out if our ability to spot — and be distracted by — stimuli had an evolutionary biology reason or was simply learned, researchers checked to see if people were more distracted from a task by spiders or by Doctor Who.

The things we are afraid of get our notice more easily than things we view neutrally. One theory is that our biology brings our attention most quickly to threats. And if you’re an arachnophobe, spiders are a threat. Another theory is simply that our attention is grabbed by whatever in the room has the most relevance to us — i.e. that it’s something we learn based on our experiences.

The end results are extremely interesting, especially to us spider-fearing Doctor Who fans.

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Seems there is, indeed, a correlation between Doctor Who fans and those who fear spiders. Read more, very interesting.

[Images, Story via i09]

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