Afraid of Spiders? Maybe Spiderman Can Help

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
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Yaakov Hoffman, PhD.
Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist
Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences
Max & Anna Webb St. Ramat-Gan, Israel, 5290002

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Foundation: This study was conceptualized during a conversation we had, namely, Dr. Yaakov Hoffman, Interdisciplinary department of social sciences, Bar Ilan University, and Professor Menachem Ben-Ezra School of Social Work, Ariel University, following the release of the Antman movie. We are both psychologists who are also avid Marvel  superhero fans. In this meaningful conversation we discussed the issue of fear of insects which led to the idea that positive exposure to phobic stimuli (exposure to spider or ants) within the context of Marvel superheroes will lead to robust reduction in phobic symptoms. As most of the conventional treatments for specific phobias use exposure to the phobic stimuli in neutral contexts, we thought that framing the exposure in a positive fun, albeit fantasy context would yield robust results, as well as perhaps reducing stigma.

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