Virtual reality spiders help arachnophobes see real spiders as smaller and less scary

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“A new study, published in the journal Biological Psychology, exposed participants with arachnophobia (a fear of spiders) first to real spiders and then to virtual ones.

There were two important findings – first that these “spider phobic” participants overestimated a spider’s size, secondly that this bias could then be reduced using VR.

Though it was already known that a fear of a particular object or event can increase your attention to it, this is the first time it has been shown that individuals with arachnophobia overestimate a spider’s size.”

By Melissa Hogenboom for BPS Research Digest

Read more: http://digest.bps.org.uk/2016/04/hanging-out-with-virtual-reality.html?m=1