What does Neophobia mean?

Neophobia, also known as cainophobia is a tendency for disliking or straight up fearing anything new or unusual.

It is especially prevalent among children, who often reject new kinds of food presented to them.

This is called food “neophobia” and is a major subject in pediatric psychology.

It is observed in animals, that aging induces an increased amount of “neophobia”, due to the dysfunction of neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the exploratory drive in younger specimens.


What's the origin of Neophobia?

The term was first documented around the end of the 1920’s and is comprised of the Greek words neos, meaning new or young, and –phobia, meaning fear.

Although it is usually associated with the rejection of new food among children, there is also some connection between technophobia and “neophobia”, which had been further explored in literature during the 20th century.

Spread & Usage

How did Neophobia spread?

Robert Anton Wilson proposed in his book Prometheus Rising, that “neophilia” is naturally occurring in people, after they start raising children.

He also declared, that “neophilia” is the reason for the slower progress in culture and ideas, compared to technology.

Philosopher Tomas Kuhn proposed in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, that new ideas and concepts, however well proven, are only coming into practice, when the generation, that considered it to be new, dies out.

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