Saturday, July 7, 2012

Aversion Therapy: The Attack of the Spider



Aversion Therapy reduces the attractiveness of a desired event by associating it with an aversive stimulus. An ancient version of this treatment was suggested by Pliny the Elder, who treated this overindulgence in wine by secretly slipping the body of large spider into the bottom of the wine drinker’s glass. (Talk about cruel, wine can be expensive!!) The intention of this was that the feelings of revulsion elicited by a mouthful of spider would become associated with the wine, reducing the person’s desire for wine. I think this therapy can be associated with overshadowing. Now whenever that wine drinker sees a glass of wine, they will correlate a large spider just hanging out in the bottom of that glass. If you want to eliminate a habit, aversion therapy will definitely do the trick. However, if anyone ever put a spider in the bottom of my glass of wine, they better run extremely fast and get me a new bottle of wine!


4 comments:

  1. If I ever had a drinking problem and someone was trying to get me to stop, putting a spider in my drink would get me to stop drinking immediately! I would always have a feeling that there would be a spider in my drink. GROSS!

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  2. I know! When I first read this I thought it was absolutely crazy, yet brilliant.

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  3. I agree, a spider may turn me off from wine from a while, although I don't think it would be a permanent solution for me. I love wine too much and am not bothered by spiders enough for this effect to last too long. I have heard that aversion therapy works well for addictions like alcohol and tobacco though.

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  4. Aversion therapy affects everyone differently. I think that the aversive stimulus should be something that is associated with the individual personally. For example, Jessie- since spiders do not really bother you as much, that type of therapy wouldn't effect you as much as if someone was very scared of spiders. It would be pretty funny though to put a fake spider in someone's drink to see how they react- little prank is always funny! haha

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