Arachnophobia Research: 3 Reasons Why People Are Afraid Of Spiders

A lot of people are afraid of spiders. Studies have suggested that around 75 percent of people fear spiders and that women are more likely to fear the critters than men. Interestingly, arachnophobia isn't anything new. People have been afraid of spiders for millennia. Unfortunately, spiders aren't going away any time soon. What's more, they like to live around humans and frequently take up residence in their home. While you can call an exterminator to get rid of them, that's not going to stop you from being scared the first time you realize you have a spider. Here's why you're scared:

Fear Is Instinctual

Research has shown that people are better able to spot spiders than they are other types of threats. Scientists believe that people have an evolutionary trait that allows them to spot spiders and react to them quickly. While the exact reasons why this is true is unknown, it's believed that humans developed this instinct early on. In Africa, where humans first lived, venomous spiders were common. People who were able to spot and avoid spiders might have passed their skills on to their children causing arachnophobia to be an instinctual survival trait. 

Parents Pass on Fear

Conditioning also plays a role. Many people who are afraid of spiders have family members, perhaps a parent, that are also afraid of spiders. It's believed that children see others around them reacting negatively to spiders and develop a fear of spiders as a result. Conditioning can also occur after one is bit by a spider. After a negative experience, our brains are wired to avoid the same experience in the future. 

Spiders Are Creepy

For a lack of a better term, spiders are creepy. Studies have shown that most people aren't afraid of being bitten by a spider. They're more afraid of the attributes that a spider has. All of those legs are a bit off-putting on their own, but they also allow a spider to move suddenly and quickly, which really freaks people out. People also react more negatively to large, hairy spiders. 

Yes, people are afraid of spiders. They don't want to see them, and they don't want to live with them. While most spiders don't cause harm to humans, they still like to live in homes and wreak havoc, however unintentionally, on the residents. If you have spiders as well as a great fear of spiders, the best thing to do is to call a spider exterminator