Fear of animals: What is prepared?
Article first published online: 13 APR 2011
1984 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Psychology
Volume 75, Issue 1, pages 37–42, February 1984
How to Cite
Bennett-Levy, J. and Marteau, T. (1984), Fear of animals: What is prepared?. British Journal of Psychology, 75: 37–42. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1984.tb02787.x
- Issue published online: 13 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 13 APR 2011
- Received 5 February 1982; revised version received 28 February 1983
- Cited By
The present study examines one aspect of the concept of preparedness: what characteristics of animals humans are prepared to fear. Group I subjects (n = 64) rated how fearful they were of 29 small, harmless animals. Group II subjects (n = 49) made ratings of the perceptual characteristics of these same animals. Fear ratings were found to be significantly correlated with animal characteristics' ratings. It was suggested that preparedness to fear certain animals (e.g. snakes) is not a function of the animals per se but of their fear-evoking perceptual properties and their discrepancy from the human form.