Document Detail

The narrow fellow in the grass: human infants associate snakes and fear.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19120429     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Why are snakes such a common target of fear? One current view is that snake fear is one of several innate fears that emerge spontaneously. Another is that humans have an evolved predisposition to learn to fear snakes. In the first study reported here, 9- to 10-month-old infants showed no differential spontaneous reaction to films of snakes versus other animals. In the second study, 7- to 18-month-old infants associated snakes with fear: As predicted, they looked longer at films of snakes while listening to a frightened human voice than while listening to a happy voice. In the third study, infants did not look differentially to still photos of snakes and other animals, indicating that movement is crucial to infants' association of snakes with fear. These results offer support for the view that humans have a natural tendency to selectively associate snakes with fear.
Judy S Deloache; Vanessa Lobue
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental science     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1467-7687     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Sci     Publication Date:  2009 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-05     Completed Date:  2009-02-19     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814574     Medline TA:  Dev Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  201-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Conditioning (Psychology)
Discrimination Learning / physiology*
Fear / psychology*
Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
Visual Perception / physiology*
Grant Support

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