Fear is a common experience for both humans and nonhuman animals. Most of us have probably experienced the sensation of fear when startled by a loud noise or when confronting a situation such as public speaking or airplane travel. Often fear can be an adaptive response to danger that promotes survival. For example, fear of snakes increases the likelihood of avoiding snakes and therefore any potential danger they may pose. However, in some instances, fears become excessive or disproportionate to the actual danger the situation or object of fear represents (e.g., fearful of pictures of snakes, but no actual snake present). In these cases, the fear may actually be a phobia, an excessive fear in which people experience significant distress and impairment to various aspects ...

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