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Individual differences |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |
Fear of mice and rats is one of the most common specific phobias. It is sometimes referred to as musophobia (From Latin mus for "mouse") or murophobia (a coinage from the adjective "murine" for the Muridae family that encompasses mice and rats).
Fear of mice has traditionally been depicted as a stereotypical trait of women, with numerous books, cartoons, television shows, and films depicting them screaming and jumping atop chairs upon seeing a mouse, but reactions to mice vary in a wide spectrum of emotions by both men and women alike, from sentiments of attraction to irrational disgust. In many cases fear of mice is a socially induced conditioned response, combined with (and originated in) the startle response (a response to an unexpected stimulus) common in many animals, including humans, rather than a real disorder. At the same time, as it is common with specific phobias, an occasional fright may give rise to abnormal anxiety that requires treatment. Fear of mice may be treated by any standard treatment for specific phobias. Elephants are often portrayed, to comedic effect, to have a fear of mice.