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Neophobia is a phobia, the fear of new things or experiences. It is also called cainotophobia or cainophobia. In psychology, neophobia is defined as the persistent and abnormal fear of anything new. In its milder form, it can manifest as the unwillingness to try new things or break from routine.
The term is also used to describe anger, frustration or trepidation toward new things and toward change in general. Some conservative and reactionary groups are often described as neophobic, in their attempts to preserve traditions or revert society to a perceived past form. Technophobia can be seen as a specialized form of neophobia, by fearing new technology.
In biomedical research, neophobia is often associated with the study of taste. Food neophobia is an important concern in pediatric psychology. Neophobia is also a common finding in aging animals, although apathy could also explain, or contribute to explain, the lack of exploratory drive systematically observed in aging. Researchers argued that the lack of exploratory drive was likely due, neurophysiologically, to the dysfunction of neural pathways connected to the prefrontal cortex observed during aging.
- Animal exploratory behavior
- Cognitive ethology
- Instinctive behavior
- Stimulus novelty
References & Bibliography
- Lalonde R, Badescu R (1995). Exploratory drive, frontal lobe function and adipsia in aging. Gerontology 41 (3): 134-44.
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