Humans are afraid of objects that are approaching towards them : Study found

  • June 27, 2014
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Humans are afraid of objects that are approaching towards them : Study found


In our long strug­gle for sur­viv­al, we hu­mans learn­ed that some­thing ap­proach­ing us is far more of a threat than some­thing that is mov­ing away. This makes sense, since a ti­ger bound­ing to­ward a per­son is cer­tainly more of a threat than one that is walk­ing away.

Though we mod­ern hu­mans don't really con­sid­er such fear, it turns out that it still plays a big part in our day-to-day lives, a study sug­gests. Ac­cord­ing to Uni­vers­ity of Chi­ca­go Booth School of Busi­ness Pro­fes­sor Chris­to­pher K. Hsee, we still have neg­a­tive feel­ings about things that ap­proach us-e­ven if they ob­jec­tively are not threat­en­ing.

“Ap­proach avoid­ance is a gen­er­al ten­den­cy. Hu­mans don't seem to ad­e­quately dis­tin­guish be­tween times they should use it and when they should not,” Hsee said. “They tend to fear ap­proach­ing things and loom­ing events even if ob­jec­tively they need not fear,” he said.

“In or­der to sur­vive, hu­mans have de­vel­oped a ten­den­cy to guard against an­i­mals, peo­ple and ob­jects that come near them,” he added. “This is true for things that are phys­ic­ally com­ing clos­er, but al­so for events that are ap­proach­ing in time or in­creas­ing in like­li­hood.”

In research pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Per­son­al­ity and So­cial Psy­chol­o­gy, Hsee and col­leagues con­ducted eight tests in sup­port of their the­sis and found that even non­threat­en­ing ob­jects and be­ings evoked neg­a­tive feel­ings in par­ti­ci­pants as they came clos­er. Even seem­ingly doc­ile ent­i­ties, such as deer, had a fear fac­tor at­tached to them since par­ti­ci­pants could still at­tach some un­cer­tainty to a wild an­i­mal's be­hav­ior.

These in­i­tial in­ves­ti­ga­t­ions in­to ap­proach avoid­ance are of prac­ti­cal use in a num­ber of ar­eas, the re­search­ers ar­gued. Mar­keters, for ex­am­ple, could use this in­forma­t­ion to de­ter­mine if they should grad­u­ally move a prod­uct clos­er to view­ers in a tel­e­vi­sion com­mer­cial, or wheth­er that will ac­tu­ally harm the im­age of the prod­uct. Sim­i­lar­ly, speak­ers who tend to move clos­er and clos­er to­ward their au­di­ences dur­ing their speeches should think twice, as do­ing so may cast an un­fa­vor­a­ble im­pres­sion on lis­ten­ers.

Source : www.world-science.net

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