Mono Phobia v.s. Sociophobia

The difference between how people react in public v.s. alone

What is the difference between how people react to fear in a social situation (public) v.s. alone?

Many professors and psychologists have argued about this question. Which natural phobia is stronger in our society? The fear of solitude or the fear of social interaction? This is the question that I have investigated.

ARTICLE 1: What Do People Fear?

Everyone has some type of fear. Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies did a randomized survey to find out the most common fears in America. They were asked to rate how scared they were then took the ten fears that had the highest fear rating. The top ten fears were: Corruption of Government Officials, Cyber Terrorism, Corporate Tracking of Personal Information, Terrorist Attacks, Government Tracking of Personal Information, Bio-warfare, Identity Theft, Economic Collapse, Running out of Money the the Future, and Credit Card Fraud. The school stated: “On average, Americans expressed the highest levels of fear about man-made disasters, such as terrorist attacks, followed by fears about technology, including corporate and government tracking of personal data and fears about the government.” Many of the main fears that were on this list are lead by paranoia and distrust of others.

Big image
Big image

ARTICLE 2: How Do People React To Fear?

Everyone reacts a little differently. The most common is the “fight or flight” response. There about 12 main reactions to a phobia or fear in general (Berger). Shortness of breath (or the feeling of being smothered or suffocated), problems in the heart (ie: palpitations, pounding, or increased heart rate), chest pain, trembling/ shaking, choking feeling, numbness/ tingling, hot/ cold flashes, sweating, nausea, dizziness/ lightheadedness, feels like you are not really all there or in your body, loss of control/ feel crazy/ think you are going to die. There are many physical and emotional symptoms. One of the doctors in the article stated: “In addition to the physical symptoms, people with phobias do everything they can to avoid their phobic stimulus. For example; my mom is afraid of water and clowns so when there was a clown at the pool when she was younger she ran around her friend’s house to avoid both.

Big image

ARTICLE 3: Are Some People Afraid Of The Fact Of Being Alone In General?

Yes. Many people are afraid of the general fact of being alone. Walking alone at night hits a high percentage of people in the us. Studies have shown that 37% of adults in the U.S. are afraid to walk alone at night. Different groups of people have different levels of fear, some factors are age, gender, and household income. Among women the percentage is approximately 45% while the percentage is only 27% of men. 48% of teenagers ages 18-19 have this fear, this percentage drops to 35% in adults 30-49, to 34% in people ages 50-64, and only 31% for people ages 65 and up. Research has shown that the fear of walking alone at night in your neighborhood is higher for those with lower income. This may be because people feel like it is easier to be injured in a poor neighborhood because there are people in the area that are really that desperate. Women have a history of being attacked more often than men. With ages, this can be explained by the fact that young adults are just getting used to the fact of being away from their parents, plus the older the person is, the less likely they are to have been born in a time such as this. For example; My grandma said that when she was a little girl, people did not have to worry about locking their doors. My grandpa also was young during such a time, he still forgets to lock his door because for a long time there was no need. “Almost 40% of Americans do not feel safe walking near their homes alone at night, a poll finds” (Devaney).

ARTICLE 4: Will People React More Or Less In A Social Situation?

There are many people who are afraid of being alone. This fear has three names: Autophobia, Isolophobia, and Monophobia. Autophobia is the fear of being alone of of oneself, Isolophobia is the fear of solitude/ being alone, and Monophobia is the same as Isolophobia (Culbertson). Seeing these makes one wonder if a person would react more alone when something scares them because they are already on edge about being alone. On the other hand, there are also many phobias of social situations: Social phobia- the fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations, Anthropophobia- the fear of people or society, and Social Phobia- the fear of society of people in general (also information from If so many people are afraid of being alone, and so many other people have this fear of social situations, then what would the result of this experiment be? People are on edge in both situations. Will people react more in a social situation? Would they react more alone? Would the results even out? This is why I interviewed Mrs. Heather Preddy, a psychology and sociology teacher at Forest Hills High School.
Big image


What I read lead me to believe that people would react more when they were alone or thought that they were alone. The interview with Mrs. Preddy strengthened this thought. What further strengthened this thought were the videos I watched. Then the experiment that I conducted in the mall confirmed that people do react more to fear when not in a social situation. There are still a few exceptions to this rule, people who live with boys or just don't get scared easily are two of the examples of this phenomenon. The reasoning behind this could be that people try to hold back in social situations because they do not want to embarrass themselves.