Those who suffer from arachnophobia, just like Ron Weasley, may want to consider watching movies like Spider-Man and Ant-Man to ease their anxiety, a study suggests.
As reported by the , professor Menachem Ben-Ezra and co-author Yaakov Hoffman of Ariel University in Israel — both apparently huge fans of Marvel comic characters — found through their research that watching the superheroes in action for only seven seconds could help tame phobias related to insects, spiders and other arachnids by a fifth.
Seeing scenes from Spider-Man alone is said to be able to decrease participants’ fear levels by 20 percent.
Such exposure therapy allows superhero movies to be utilized as mental health boosters that offer both entertainment and positive values to help ease related fears suffered by the audience, said the team, whose study involved 424 participants and got published in the Frontiers in Psychology journal.
This is the first time comic book characters were used in therapy for the treatment of phobias.
Following this research, the team is already planning to study the effects of the superhero film genre on post-traumatic stress disorder patients. (sop/kes)