case study 4

case study 4

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Case study 4 Bennett-levy and Marteau Fear of anim

Aims and Context:researching cause of phobias via evolutionary psychology explanations/phobia is an adaptive behaviour/fight or flight used to maintain survival/avoidance response keeps use away from danger/believed fears important to our ancestors survival remain in our brains.Seligman(1971);inherited idea to fear certain animal classes/certain animals are feared more than others/not always linked to previous bad experience/fears present in children further supporting the fact that phobias are not learnt.Mineka et al(1980);compared fear response between wild and lab reared monkeys/wild monkeys showed more fear to real and model snakes than lab reared ones/concluded fear response comes from direct experience/was noticed that lab monkeys did show fear when snakes moved/prepared to fear certain chracteristics of animals that signal danger/to investigate key stimulus involved in phobias of animals/what is it about small animals we are programmed to fear.

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Case study 4 Bennett-levy and Marteau Fear of anim

Procedures:113 ppt under british healthcare more women than men/split into two groups/group 1 mean age 35.5 group 2 mean age 35.1/questionaires distributed in random order/containing 29 animals/questionaire 1 had to rate animals on fear and how close you would get to the animals/questionaire 2 rated animals on ugliness sliminess speed and sudden movements/jellyfish spaniel and baby chimp were all on the questionaire.

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Case study 4 Bennett-levy and Marteau Fear of anim

Findings and conclusions;females less likely to approach animals or touch them or pick them up than males/females more fearfull of animals than males/no difference for sexes based on physical characteristics/most feared=rat most avoided=rat most ugly=slug most slimy=slug most speedy=lizard animals with most sudden movement=grass hopper/used correlation coefficients to compare data(0.3 considered to be significant)/strong correlations with fear=ugly(0.82) and Slimy(0.61)/Strong correlations with nearness=ugly(0.87) and slimy(0.77)/Speed and moves suddenly not strongly correlated with fear or nearness/ugly slimy speedy and sudden moving animals less aproachable and more fear provoking/true even when animals perceived to be unharmful/supports seligmans idea that humans have innate tendencies to fear/findings support discrepancy principle(hinde 1974)more fearful of animals furthest from human form;slimy ugly etc... 

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Case study 4 Bennett-levy and Marteau Fear of anim

Methodology;Questionaires:Pros:quick and conveinient way to collect data.Cons:often a bias in data as people tend to agree with questions rather than dissagree as to not to appear negative.Used mean aveages as a measure of central tendancy:Pros:the most sensitive measure of C.T/sits at the center of all the deviations from itself/takes and exact central position on the interval scale.Cons:value can be distorted by extreme values.Correlational study:Pros:provide valuable info on the strength of relationship between two variables.Cons:no cause and effect can be determined between the two variables only a relationship can be suggested.As people answering questionaire 1 were different from those answering number 2 results may be less reliable.Ethics:participants not able to give informed consent.Sample:as sample were all british findings can't be generalised to wider global population due to unknown factors/however as equal numbers of male and females were be used they could be generalised in this sense.

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Case study 4 Bennett-levy and Marteau Fear of anim

Alternative evidence:Gracia & koelling(1966);found they could condition rats to avoid life threatening stimuli/less easy to condition them against stimuli with no real effect/supports BL idea that animals have innate readiness to associate negative stimuli with avoidance.Seligman(1971);gave electric shocks to 64 undergraduate students while showing pictures of phobic stimuli or neutral ones/skin conductance responses monitored as a measure of phobia/2-4 electric shocks enough to induce a phobia of phobic stimuli when significantly more was required to induce phobias of neutral stimuli/supports BL idea using an experimental study rather than correlational.Ohman(2000);tested assumption that prepared fears(snakes etc.)should be harder to unlearn than fears of stimuli with no evolutionary adaption(houses etc)/gave mild shocks to ppt while showing spiders/snakes or houses/flowers and measure fear response/when house no longer paired with shock fear imediatly is displaced however with snake fear persists for some time/supports idea that fears of certain stimuli are biologically prepared.

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