What is Papaphobia?
Fear of the Pope.
Non-associative theory proposes that the innate fear response is likely to be activated in a young child on his or her very first encounter with a prepotent stimulus, without the need for any traumatic or adverse experience. It is suggested that, in the normal course of events, individual experience causes fear to diminish and eventually disappear, i.e. habituation takes place. However, in a few children, this process does not occur and fear remains strong, resulting in phobia.
The phobia may be carried into adult life but if it arises later, it may represent a reactivation of an innate developmental fear. It is suggested that this might even be triggered by some unrelated stressful experience such as bereavement or depression.