Rats were feared considerably more than any other animal (a fear rating of 2.08 and a nearness of 3.90). Informal questioning suggested that it was due to them being perceived as potentially harmful. Lambs and hamsters were feared the least with a fear rating of 1.00, but rabbits had the lowest nearness rating of 1.13.
There were sex differences within the findings. In the ratings of nearness, females were found to be less willing to approach or pick up 10 of the animals than man. These animals were jellyfish, cockroach, ant, moth, crow, worm, beetle, slug, mouse and spider. Similar differences were found in the fear ratings, although there no notable sex differences in ratings of ugliness, sliminess, speediness and suddenness of movement.
The men in group 1 rated themselves as less fearful than the women, but were nevertheless apparently just as responsive to the animal characteristics. For example, there was a close correlation in the nearness ratings of men and women (r=+.96)
- Speediness and sudden movement are highly correlated (r=+.95)
- Nearness and sudden movement is +.05, but when the effect…