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What is The Most Common Phobia You’ve Never Heard Of?

What is The Most Common Phobia You’ve Never Heard Of? post image
It’s the fear of holes.

Like those in the picture above.

Technically it’s called trypophobia and, according to a recent study, it may result from the visual features of certain poisonous creatures (Cole & Wilkins, 2013).

The study found that around 1 in 7 had some trypophobic reactions.

The lead author Geoff Cole explained:

“We think that everyone has trypophobic tendencies even though they may not be aware of it. We found that people who don’t have the phobia still rate trypophobic images as less comfortable to look at than other images. It backs up the theory that we are set-up to be fearful of things which hurt us in our evolutionary past. We have an innate predisposition to be wary of things that can harm us.”

Should your fear of holes be getting the better of you, then use a classic psychological technique: desensitisation.

That means looking at lots of pictures of holes.

Apparently it worked for Dr. Cole.

About the author

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.

He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:

Dr Dean’s bio, Twitter, Facebook and how to contact him.

Image credit: Keith Williamson