Comic-book movies treat arachnophobia!


Good news, everybody! We can reduce arachnophobia with just a seven second clip from a Marvel movie!

Fear of insects, mainly spiders, is considered one of the most common insect phobias. However, to date, no conducted studies have examined the effects of phobic stimuli exposure (spiders/ants) within the positive context of Marvel superheroes movies, such as “Spiderman” or “Antman”. A convenience sample of 424 participants divided into four groups watched different clips. Two intervention groups (Spiderman/Antman) and two control groups (Marvel opening/natural scene) were measured twice (pre-post intervention). The measures comprised an online survey assessing socio-demographic variables, familiarity with Marvel movies, comics and phobic symptoms. Reduction in phobic symptoms was significant in the Spiderman and Antman groups in comparison to the control groups. Seven second exposure to insect-specific stimuli within a positive context, reduces the level of phobic symptoms. Incorporating exposure to short scenes from Marvel Cinematic Universe within a therapeutic protocol for such phobias may be robustly efficacious and enhance cooperation and motivation by rendering the therapy as less stigmatic.

Unfortunately, they don’t tell us what specific clip they used, so I can spam it everywhere and teach people to appreciate spiders. I kind of doubt that it’s this one, at the 1:37 mark.

Also, it’s Spider-Man and Ant-Man, both hyphenated. I can’t imagine how that slipped past the editors. Additionally, since there is a new Spider-Man movie coming out in July, I’m hoping for a spider renaissance this summer.

Comments

  1. Sili says

    What about molluscophobia? (Though I may be the only person in the world who’s afraid of snails and slugs.)

  2. blf says

    What about molluscophobia?

    Mollusc-man, mollusc-man, does whatever a clam can…

    (Sorry, I’ll go away now and prepare tonight’s dinner, fittingly perhaps, Pasta alle Vongole…)

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    I never had a problem with spiders myself. I might react if I found one crawling on me, but I actually find them fascinating to watch.

  4. Morgan says

    What about molluscophobia?

    We’ll have to wait until they add Snail-Man to the MCU to test that, and production on that movie has slowed to a crawl.

  5. says

    How did that abominable first sentence slip past the editors?

    Fear of insects, mainly spiders, is considered one of the most common insect phobias.

    Horrifying.

  6. weylguy says

    I’ve been bitten twice by black widow spiders. The first time I barely noticed the pain from the bite, but my forearm swelled up like Popeye’s. The second bite was minor, with only some redness around the site.

    But this does not explain my extreme, lifelong fear of spiders. I’ve always loathed them, all except for the jumping variety, which tend to be small and cute. They don’t scare me at all.

  7. markkernes says

    As you’re probably (or should be) aware, Ant-Man wasn’t bitten by an ant; he just invented a suit that shrinks him to their size, plus he can communicate with them (and order them around)

  8. rq says

    We’ll have to wait until they add Snail-Man to the MCU to test that, and production on that movie has slowed to a crawl.

    Actually I heard some of the actors just wouldn’t come out of their shell during filming and had trouble opening up during the emotional scenes.

  9. Mobius says

    Spiders and ants don’t bug me (no pun intended). But wasps! Wasps give me the willies. Kamikaze bugs diving out of the sun.

  10. yaque says

    We had an office outing a couple of weeks ago. Hiked several kilometers up a creek. One of the gals was phobic about butterflies! Bees or hornets didn’t bother her at all, only butterflies (and moths). Something about the flapping, maybe? She had to walk with a branch in her hand to wave them off if she encountered any! We walked by a couple and I’m ashamed to admit it was kinda funny … waving and thrashing and squeaks…

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