Fear-- Tis' the Season

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To follow up on previous blog entries on phobias, I love Halloween and scary movies, so I figured it would be an interesting to subject to look more into.  I wanted to look more into if fears are learned or are actually in our genetic make-up. Another topic that has been intriguing me lately is why some people love scary movies and why some people hate them. 

The reason I was mostly interested in if phobias were inherited is that my father and I both share the same fear of clowns. When I read the previous blog on how our phobias might be passed down from our ancestors, I wondered if my father passed this fear onto me.  I found articles supporting both the nature and nurture opinions.  The articles below show support that some fears are genetic. Past studies shown on identical twins could support the theory that it is due to genetics. Both of the twins were put through treatments showing images of ordinary objects and objects that they could be afriad of. The doctors would measure the levels of anxiety that the twins exhibited. The results matched up in the end of the study. Other studies have revealed the same thing in identical twins.  .

 Twin Study (http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2003/08/04/914237.htm

Opinions on Simple vs. Social Fear (http://www.phobia-fear-release.com/are-phobias-hereditary.html)

According to other articles, there are other explanations for fear. Fear could be attributed to the anxiety disorder itself being passed down through genetics. There is also the nurture concept, where the fear is learned through frightful experiences. A child could learn to be fearful of something because they see their parent is afraid of the object (this might be my case with the clowns).

Anxiety explanation (http://anxiety-and-phobias.com/uncategorized/inherited-an-anxiety-disorder)

More on types and explanations (http://www.unexplainedstuff.com/Mysteries-of-the-Mind/Phobias.html)

So, the support shown could still make the theory of inherited fear go either way. What do you guys think, is fear passed down or learned?



The other subject I wanted to blog about is some of the explanations for why some people like horror movies and some do not. Horror is my favorite genre, but most of my friends refuse to go see them with me. I have been wondering, what makes one person hate them and one person love them?

Some say people like them, because society is obsessed with violence. There is also the idea of escaping the real world and not being in control of what is to come on the screen and scare you. There is also the explanation that the audience will find relief in the end of the movie.  (Explanations http://www.wisegeek.com/why-do-people-like-to-watch-scary-movies.htm) The other article I found talked about another explanation. This would be that people just enjoy being scared and like the rush of adrenaline. I believe this is the reason I love them so much, because I am an adrenaline junkie. adrenaline (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070725152040.htm)

Why do you love or hate scary movies? I am interested in if people think there is something different in the psychological make-up of the 2 groups? Or, going back to the phobia subject, if maybe people have experienced something and do not want the movie to remind them of that?



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This blog was quite interesting to me being that in my psych class we just talked about this. I believe that phobias are caused by both nature and nurture. An article I found explained how we are hardwire to fear certain things because it is what helped our ancestors survived ( http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/features/the-truth-about-phobias ). Then there are those fears that we have because of a previous experience. I think they both play a part on phobias.

I enjoy horror movies, but sometimes I do get scared. I do believe society and wanting to feel the adrenaline do play a high role on how we feel about this genre of movies. People that are afraid of this movie might have learned this by watching others or they might have had a bad experience when they were younger.

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