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Psychologists Have Identified The Creatures We Find Most Scary And Revolting

June 26, 2019

Research Digest

Screenshot 2019-06-25 at 12.39.01.png via Polák et al, 2019

ByChristian Jarrett

You may be best advised not to read this article late at night or before you eat. Psychologists at the National Institute of Mental Health and Charles University in the Czech Republic have surveyed a large sample of non-clinical volunteers to gauge their reaction to 24 creatures that are commonly the source of specific animals phobias.

The results, published in the British Journal of Psychology, not only contribute to our understanding of animal phobias, but could prove incredibly useful to horror writers. Among the key findings is that spiders were unique in being both intensely fear- and disgust-inducing in equal measure. The researchers said this may be due to their mix of disgusting properties – including their “quirky ‘too-many-legs’ body plan” – combined with the fact they are “…omnipresent in our homes, often lurking in the hidden dark places and capable…

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