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Phobias: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Does Cognitive Theory Mean in Psychology?
Definition of Cognitive Theory. Phobias.
What are You Afraid of? The Top 10 Most Common...
A specific phobia is a fear of a specified object or event. Read on for information about some of the most common specific phobias.
What is the Fear of Being Alone Called?
Monophobia, or the fear of being alone, takes many different forms. No matter which form you have, some basic coping strategies may help.
Is Fear of Dying Affecting Your Life?
The fear of death is ancient and primal. However, not all thanatophobia is the same. Read on for important information on the various causes and treatments for this common phobia.
Fear of Abandonment
The fear of abandonment, though not officially known as a phobia, can have far-reaching implications in our lives. The fear is complicated and difficult to unravel, but working through it can dramatically change your life.
How to Manage Symptoms of Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces. This disorder can be quite life-limiting, leading sufferers to avoid activities from MRIs to roller coasters. Read on for information that all claustrophobia sufferers should have.
Fear of Intimacy
The fear of intimacy is heavily mixed with the fear of vulnerability, as well as the twin fears of abandonment and engulfment. People with a fear of intimacy may use distancing and other tactics to prevent relationships from becoming too close.
Acrophobia
Acrophobia is the fear of heights. It is more general than aerophobia (fear of flying), and is not the same thing as vertigo. Read on for more information on acrophobia.
Koumpounophobia
The fear of buttons, or koumpounophobia, varies dramatically in its specifics. Texture issues, fear of germs and previous negative experiences may all have an effect on this phobia.
The Psychology of Fear
Fear is one of the most primal human emotions, consisting of both a physiological and an emotional response. Fear is experienced uniquely by everyone. Read on for more information on the psychology of fear.
Counter-Transference
Counter-transference is a potentially damaging yet relatively common process experienced by many therapists. What is counter-transference, and how do therapists guard against its effects on clients? Find out here.
What is the Fear of Elevators?
Although accidents are rare, the fear of elevators is pervasive. Why are we so afraid, and how can we fight our elevator phobias?
The Condition that Explains Why People Hate...
The fear of touch, or haphephobia, is quite rare. For those who are affected, however, it can be devastating to both romantic and nonromantic relationships.
What Is the Fear of Rejection?
The fear of rejection is common but insidious. Over time, a fear of rejection can escalate into additional phobias. Even milder cases may cause us to limit our activities and prevent us from reaching our goals or pursuing our dreams.
Eclectic Therapy
Definition of Eclectic Therapy. Phobias.
Spider Fears or Arachnophobia
Arachnophobia is one of the most common specific phobias. Experts are not yet sure what causes a fear of spiders, but many feel that it may have evolved as an ancient survival mechanism. Read on for more information about arachnophobia.
Cleithrophobia
Cleithrophobia, or the fear of being trapped, is a specific phobia that focuses on getting stuck. It may be confused with claustrophobia, which focuses on the size of the space.
Ornithophobia
Ornithophobia, or fear of birds, is relatively common. However, the symptoms and severity can vary widely. Learn more about this interesting phobia.
Hemophobia
Hemophobia, or fear of blood, is a common specific phobia. Unlike most specific phobias, it can lead to low blood pressure and even fainting. Learn more about this unique phobia.
Nyctophobia
Fear of the dark is common in children, and often passes as they mature. If it persists for more than six months, fear of the dark should be professionally treated, as it can become crippling in older children and adults. Read on for more information on this common phobia.
Erotophobia
Erotophobia, or the fear of sex, includes many different phobias. Some people fear all forms of sexual expression, others only intercourse. Some are afraid of all touch, others of intimacy or vulnerability.
Cibophobia
Cibophobia, or fear of food, is a relatively common but highly devastating phobia. Read on for important information on this complicated phobia.
What Is the Fear of Butterflies and Moths?
Lepidopterophobia, or the fear of butterflies and moths, is remarkably common. Though these insects are entirely harmless, many people are afraid of their looks or behaviors.
Symptoms of Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia is a specific type of phobia, hallmarked by the fear of having a panic attack in public. Provided here is information to help you recognize the symptoms of agoraphobia.
Therapeutic Milieu
Definition of Therapeutic Milieu
Sertraline
Zoloft, or sertraline, is an SSRI. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors slow the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Like all medications, there are pros and cons to taking Zoloft.
Ophidiophobia
The fear of snakes is relatively common, and over time it can become life-limiting. Read on for more information on the symptoms and treatments for this common phobia.
Ablutophobia
Although relatively uncommon, the fear of bathing can have devastating consequences. Social isolation and trouble at work or school are not uncommon in those with ablutophobia. Read on for information on the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Behavior Modeling
Behavior modeling is a powerful therapeutic tool, but it can be negative as well as positive. What is behavior modeling and how is it used?
Astraphobia
Astraphobia, or the fear of thunder and lightning, is especially common in children; however, it can affect people of any age. Read on for more on this relatively common phobia.
Anthropophobia
The fear of people, or anthropophobia, is similar to social phobia. Rather than fearing social situations, those with anthropophobia are afraid of other people themselves. The difference is subtle but important.
Social Cognitive Theory
Social cognitive theory is a subtype of cognitive theory that explains the effects others have on our behaviors. How does social cognitive theory relate to phobias? Find out more.
What Is a Phobia?
A phobia can be defined as an intense and irrational fear. Here you will find information to help you understand the definitions of anxiety and phobia and how they are treated.
Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a technique used to increase desired behavior. What exactly does it entail? Learn more here.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Definition of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cynophobia
Cynophobia, or fear of dogs, is extremely common. What causes this phobia, and how can it affect your life? Is treatment available? Find out here!
Mysophobia
It is normal and prudent to take precautions against germs. However, mysophobia, or the fear of germs, takes normal caution to an extreme. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.
Iatrophobia
The fear of doctors is surprisingly common. However, it is sometimes hard to distinguish a full-blown phobia from normal anxiety. Read on for tips on how to tell whether you have iatrophobia and how to cope with this limiting fear.
Evolutionary Psychology
Evolutionary psychology is commonly cited as a means of explaining human behavior. But what is evolutionary psychology? How does it explain behaviors, especially fears and phobias?
Phasmophobia
Phasmophobia, or the fear of ghosts, is a somewhat controversial phobia. Possibly related to the fear of death and shrouded in religious belief, this fear is thought by some to be symptomatic of disordered thinking. Read on to explore this complicated yet common phobia.
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a slightly sarcastic common name for the fear of long words. But the actual phobia can be life-limiting, especially for children.
Psycho-Educational Group
A psycho-educational group is a specific type of therapy group focusing on educating clients. Why is it so important? Who is in charge? Learn all about these groups here.
Symptoms of Phobias
A phobia can be defined as an intense and irrational fear of something specific. Read on to find out more about the symptoms of phobias.
Fear of Loud Noises
Ligyrophobia, sometimes known as phonophobia, is the fear of loud noises. The phobia is more common in children than in adults, but sometimes indicates an underlying health condition.
Bathmophobia
Bathmophobia, or fear of stairs and slopes, can be tricky to diagnose. Symptoms are shared with a range of other disorders, such as fear of heights, fear of climbing and medical vertigo. Learn more about this complicated phobia.
What Is Object Relations Theory?
Focusing on our relationships with others, object relations theory acknowledges that our first and most important relationship is with our mother. Difficulties in that relationship could set us up for a lifetime of challenges.
Treatment Options for Phobias
If you have been diagnosed with a phobia, you may wonder about your options for treatment. Find out here about commonly used treatment options.
Trypanophobia
Trypanophobia, or fear of needles, is a relatively common phobia. It affects an estimated 10% of Americans. Fear of needles is an unusual phobia, as it can cause low blood pressure and fainting rather than fast heart rate and panic.
Fear of Vulnerability
The fear of vulnerability is all too common in modern society. This fear can be destructive to relationships of all types, destroying intimacy and stopping us in our tracks. But there is hope.
Hypochondriasis
Hyponchondriasis, or hypochondria, is an often-misunderstood disorder. It is not technically a phobia, but shares many of the same symptoms. Read on for more information on the symptoms and treatment for hypochondria.
What Causes Phobias?
The causes of phobias are not yet fully understood. However, researchers have identified several possible factors. Read on to discover some possible causes of phobias.
Philemaphobia
Philemaphobia, or the fear of kissing, is common among inexperienced young people, but may occur at any age. Some people fear germs or are disgusted by saliva, others are afraid of intimacy and vulnerability.
Psychoanalytic Theory of Phobias
There are three major categories of theories on the nature of phobias. Freud's psychoanalytic theory is one of the oldest.
Megalophobia
Megalophobia can be generally defined as the fear of large objects. This fear may be specific to large animals, ships or other items, or may be more generalized. Megalophobia is often exploited in Halloween events such as Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2008. Read on for more on the myths and realities of this unusual phobia.
Genophobia
Genophobia is the fear of sexual intercourse. Sometimes confused with erotophobia, or the generalized fear of sex, genophobia is an intensely personal and often devastating specific phobia.
Kinemortophobia
Kinemortophobia, or the fear of zombies, is rooted in older and more generalized legends of the undead. Yet zombies continue to terrify us today. Why are these creatures so frightening, and how can we cope?
Collective Unconscious
Definition of Collective Unconscious
Aquaphobia
Aquaphobia, or fear of water, can be devastating. Without treatment, it could lead to numerous other fears, isolation and even depression.
Fear or Phobia?
If you are afraid of something specific, it can be difficult to decide whether you are experiencing a fear or phobia. A phobia is sometimes seen as simply a worse level of fear. This is not entirely accurate, though. Read on for more information on the differences between phobia and simple fear.
Lilapsophobia
Lilapsophobia, or fear of tornadoes and hurricanes, is related to astraphobia, or fear of storms. However, those with lilapsophobia worry that the storm will turn severe. Learn all about this unique phobia.
Fear of Submerged Objects
The fear of submerged objects encompasses many related phobias. Some people are afraid of natural phenomena such as animals or logs, others of man-made items.
What Is the Fear of Escalators?
Escalaphobia, or the fear of escalators, is surprisingly common. Yet most escalator accidents are due to rider error. Why are we so afraid, and how can we treat the fear?
Fear of Space
Astrophobia, or fear of space, is a relatively common phobia. It may take different forms, from fear of aliens to fear of space exploration. Read on for more information on the fear of space.
Learning Theory and Phobias
Theories on the development of phobias can be loosely divided into three types. Learning theory is a broad classification that includes several important theories. Read on to find out more.
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)
EVP, or electronic voice phenomena, has become mainstream. Alleged recordings of spiritual communications appear on YouTube and forums around the web. But EVP, but like all paranormal beliefs, is sometimes considered a sign of magical thinking.
Doomsday Phobias
Doomsday phobias are a relatively broad category that can encompass a wide range of more specific phobias. Any phobia that involves fear of the end of the world could be classified as a doomsday phobia. Learn more about these surprisingly common phobias.
Aerophobia (Fear of Flying)
Aerophobia, or fear of flying, is a relatively common but potentially devastating phobia. Learn some causes of aerophobia and how it is generally treated.
Clown Phobia
Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, seems pervasive in our society. Yet very little scientific research has been performed. How can something that seems so innocent be a source of such terror? Read on for a historical look at clown phobia.
Pediophobia
Pediophobia, or fear of dolls, may take many forms. Some people are afraid of all dolls, while others fear only specific types. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.
Glossophobia
Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is surprisingly common. Unfortunately, it can also be extremely life-limiting. Here you will find information on diagnosing and treating this common phobia.
Behaviorism
Definition of behaviorism. Phobias.
Magical Thinking
Definition of magical thinking. Phobias.
Constructivism
Definition of Constructivism. Phobias.
What Is the Fear of Mirrors?
The fear of mirrors may have many different root causes. Some fears are rooted in body image issues, others in the fear of the supernatural.
Flying With Claustrophobia
Flying with claustrophobia presents unique challenges. Crowded airports, invasive security screenings and small plane seats can greatly increase anxiety. However, a few tips and tricks can help make your journey more pleasant.
Emetophobia
Emetophobia, or fear of vomiting, is surprisingly common, though little discussed. The fear may be caused by many different factors, and can have devastating consequences for sufferers. Find out more here.
Therapist: Understanding What Your Therapist Does
Your therapist is an important part of the treatment team. Here is a look at what to expect from your therapist or counselor.
What Is the Fear of Insects?
Entomophobia, or the fear of insects, is relatively common. While most people experience only a mild reaction, those with a severe fear may have a panic attack. But are we really afraid of the animal itself or is there something else at work?
Erythrophobia
The fear of blushing, or erythrophobia, is an ironic fear. The more afraid we become, the stronger the blushing response tends to be. Here's how to cope.
What is Bibliophobia?
Bibliophobia is a relatively uncommon phobia that involves the fear of books. You may be afraid of all books or only those of a certain style or genre. Read on for more information on this unusual phobia.
Medications for Phobias
If you have been diagnosed with a phobia, you will have a few choices for treatment. One popular option is treatment with anxiety medications. Provided here is a look at some popular anxiety medications that are used to treat phobias.
Fears of Failure and Success
Both fear of failure and success tend to respond well to treatment. Cognitive-behavioral techniques are used to learn new ways of thinking about choices.
What Is the Fear of Chewing Gum?
The fear of chewing gum is known as chiclephobia. Although rare, this phobia can cause issues in daily life. Oprah Winfrey is arguably the best-known sufferer of chiclephobia.
Scoptophobia
Scoptophobia, or the fear of being stared at, runs the gamut of severity. For some, this fear is life-limiting, leading sufferers to avoid even casual encounters with friends.
Treatment Plan
Definition of Treatment Plan. Phobias.
Herpetophobia
Herpetophobia, or fear of reptiles, is relatively common around the world. As such, it is often exploited by Halloween events such as Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2008. Read on for more on this common phobia.
Triskaidekaphobia
Triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, is an ancient phobia. Yet some experts believe that is should not be considered a phobia at all. Read on for both sides of the debate.
Physiological Response
Many phobia sufferers claim that the physiological response to fear is the worst part of the phobia. But what exactly is a physiological response, and what are some common responses? Find out here.
Living With Phobias
Living with a phobia can be difficult. Read on for advice on managing your phobia and learning to live with the condition.
Maskaphobia or Fear of Masks
Maskaphobia, or fear of masks, can take several different forms. Some people are afraid only of horror masks, while others fear even costumed characters. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.
Anemophobia
The fear of air, or anemophobia, includes numerous related phobias. Anemophobia is often rooted in another phobia, but may also occur independently.
Learning Theory
Definition of Learning Theory. Phobias.
Siderodromophobia
Siderodromophobia, or fear of trains, is relatively uncommon. However, some believe that it is simply underreported. The 2009 crashes of the DC Metro and the Walt Disney World monorail may cause reported siderodromophobia cases to escalate. Learn more about this unique phobia.
Mageirocophobia
Mageirocophobia, or fear of cooking, can be divided into many types. Suffering from one or more types is relatively common, although a more severe phobia may encompass virtually all types. Read on to learn more.
Psychological and Emotional Effects of Phobias
Beyond the obvious impact of a phobia, there can be numerous additional impacts on your life. Find out more about the emotional health impacts of phobias here.
Systematic Desensitization
Definition of Systematic Desensitization
Somatoform Disorder
Defining somatoform disorders, a class of mental health disorders recognized by the DSM-IV, with examples and related articles.
Information Processing
Information processing is one of the basic tenets of cognitive theory. What exactly is it, and why is it important to phobia treatment?
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, or fear of the number 666, is surprisingly common. Shrouded in religious belief, the fear can be quite pervasive. Read on to learn more about this unique phobia.
What Is the Fear of Sharp Objects?
There's a catch-all term for numerous specific fears involving sharp objects. From knives to needles to umbrella points, why are we afraid of sharp things?
Defense Mechanisms
According to psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are the ego's way of relieving the tension caused by anxiety. What are the defense mechanisms, and how do they influence our behavior?
Theories on the Development of Phobias
Experts are not yet certain what causes phobias. However, current theories can be broken down into three major categories. Read on to learn more on the theories of phobia development.
Roller Coaster Phobia
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What Is Social Phobia?
Social phobia is a complicated diagnosis that may incorporate several different specific fears. Learn more about social phobia and how it is managed and treated.
What Is the Fear of Driving?
Despite the American love of the open road, driving phobias are surprisingly common. Sometimes linked to agoraphobia or claustrophobia, these fears may also occur on their own.
Talk Therapy
If you have never been in therapy, you may have some fears and concerns. Knowing what to expect can ease your mind and help you decide on a style of therapy. Read on for a basic overview of the process of talk therapy.
Coping Skills
Definition of Coping Skills. Phobias.
Flooding
Definition of Flooding. Phobias.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
The Psycho shower scene is one of the best known scenes in the history of cinema. The scene is said to have spawned shower phobias in a generation of film fans. Read on for the psychology behind the scene's enduring terror.
What Is the Fear of Cats?
Although the fear of cats is less common than the fear of dogs, it can be life-limiting. Some people fear cats' predatory nature, while others worry that cats may be harbingers of evil.
What Is the Fear of Madness?
The fear of madness played an important role in 19th century Gothic horror, but remains a very real fear today. Some people are afraid of institutionalization or social stigma, while others fear the psychological and emotional symptoms of mental illness.
Fear of Death in Children
Thanatophobia, or the fear of death, strikes children as well as adults. A mild form may be normal for children, but it can heartbreaking for parents to witness.
Automatonophobia
Although full blown automatonophobia, or fear of humanoid figures, is rare, a certain level of nervousness is common. Read on for more on this unique phobia.
Heliophobia
Heliophobia, or the fear of sunlight, is often related to other issues. From medical sun sensitivity to body image concerns, the root cause of heliophobia can be difficult to determine.
Diagnosing a Phobia
A phobia is an irrational yet intense fear of an object or situation. Read on for information about diagnosing a phobia.
Client-Centered Therapy
A humanist form of psychotherapy developed in the 1940s, Carl Rogers' client-centered therapy remains extremely popular today. But what is client-centered therapy, and how does it work?
Unconditional Positive Regard
Unconditional positive regard is the cornerstone of client-centered therapy. Coined by Carl Rogers in the 1940s, the practice involves the total acceptance of the client as a human being, regardless of thoughts or actions. Unconditional positive regard is also used in nontherapeutic applications such as student-centered learning.
Biological Basis of Phobias
There are three main categories of theories that are used to explain the development of phobias. According to the theory of biological psychology, phobias are caused by physiological differences in the brain. Read on to learn more about biological psychology.
Climacophobia
Climacophobia, or fear of climbing, can be complicated to diagnose. It may be linked to several other phobias, including acrophobia and bathmophobia. Find out more about this unique phobia.
Traveling With Claustrophobia
A well-deserved vacation is relaxing for many people. If you have claustrophobia, however, just getting to your destination can be a battle. Here's what you should know to manage your symptoms when traveling with claustrophobia.
What Is the Fear of Travel?
Hodophobia, or the fear of travel, is highly personalized. Some people are afraid to leave home at all, while others fear only specific forms of transportation. Mild cases may respond to simple preparation, while more severe cases generally require professional intervention.
Stop! Technique
Definition of stop technique. Phobias.
Understanding the Obama Health Care Plan
The quest for universal health care has largely defined Barack Obama's presidency. With the passage of H.R. 3590: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama's plan is now a reality. Bitterly opposed by Republicans and lauded by Democrats, the Act is largely misunderstood by the public. Read on for a detailed look at fact versus fiction.
Cognitive Reframing
Definition of Cognitive Reframing
Fear of Being a Passenger
The fear of being a passenger, also known as amaxophobia, may be mild or severe. How much it impacts your life depends on how often you need to travel. People in walkable neighborhoods are typically less affected than those who must travel to meet basic needs.
What Is the Fear of Phobias?
The fear of phobias can be devastating, even leading to agoraphobia in some cases. The fear is sometimes linked to other anxiety disorders, and can be complicated to unravel.
Phagophobia
Phagophobia, or the fear of swallowing, is often triggered by a bad eating experience. Similar to the fear of choking, phagophobia may worsen over time, eventually leading to a severely restricted diet. Fortunately, treatment is usually simple and effective.
Arachibutyrophobia
People have phobias - or fears - of many different things, including common food items. Arachibutyrophobia is one such phobia.
Jaws Movie
The Jaws movie did more to inspire shark phobia than perhaps any other media event. Using some of the techniques of suspense pioneered by Alfred Hitchcock, a team of unknowns created a legend. Learn more about the Jaws movie and the shark phobia it inspired.
Nosophobia
Definition of Nosophobia. Phobias.
Humanistic Psychology
Definition of Humanistic Psychology
What Is the Fear of Churches?
The fear of churches may represent the fear of religious practices or the fear of the actual church building. Both fears are often rooted in deeper conflicts, although they may occur alone.
What Is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is often defined as a fear of leaving home, but this is not quite accurate. Instead, agoraphobia may be seen as a fear of fear. Learn more about this relatively common, often devastating phobia.
Taijin Kyofusho
Taijin kyofusho is a culturally-bound Japanese form of social phobia. While Western social phobia focuses on personal embarrassment, taijin kyofusho is concerned with embarrassing others.
Genuphobia
Genuphobia, or the fear of knees, encompasses a variety of different phobias. Some people are afraid of their own knees, some of other people's knees. Some actually fear the process of kneeling.
What Is the Fear of Choking?
Pseudodysphagia is the fear of choking. Often confused with the fear of swallowing, the fear of choking can actually heighten the risk of choking. Many people who do not otherwise have this fear are afraid of choking during dental procedures.
Gymnophobia
Gymnophobia, or the fear of nakedness, may take many forms. Whether you are afraid of your own nudity or of others being naked, gymnophobia can make daily life complicated.
Transference
Transference is a popular buzzword in certain types of therapy. But what does it mean? How do you know if it is occurring, and whether it is healthy for your progress? Learn more about this common process.
What Is the Fear of Monsters?
The fear of monsters, or tetraphobia, is common in young children but quite rare in teens and adults. As a childhood phase, the fear is generally short-lived and easily remedied. A persistent fear in an older child or adult, however, may require professional intervention.
What Is the Fear of Vacuum Cleaners?
The fear of vacuum cleaners is surprisingly common in young children and pets, though it is rare in older kids and adults. Why are children and pets so afraid, and how can we help?
Conversion Disorder
Definition of Conversion Disorder
Goals of Therapy
Definition of Goals of Therapy. Phobias.
Therapy Options for Phobias
Mental health counseling is a common and successful treatment for many phobias. Read on for more information about various types of mental health counseling that are used to treat phobias.
Ataque de Nervios
Ataque de nervios is a relatively common condition among Latinos, particularly in the Caribbean. Sometimes known as Puerto Rico syndrome, the condition is similar but not identical to a panic attack.
Reinforcement
Reinforcement is a commonly used behavioral tool for shaping behavior. What is it, and why can it be both positive and negative?
Bromidrophobia
Bromidrophobia, or fear of body odors, can be largely traced to the current obsession with cleanliness. Read on for more on this relatively common phobia.
SSRIs and Phobias
SSRIs are a type of anxiety medication that is popular for treating social phobias. They may also be prescribed in tandem with other treatments for agoraphobia and specific phobias. Read on for detailed information about this class of antidepressants.
Therapeutic Rapport
Therapeutic rapport is often mentioned as an important component of the therapeutic relationship. But what exactly is therapeutic rapport, and how is it created?
DSM: Friend or Foe?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM, has long been the bible of mental health diagnosis. But some clinicians worry that it may do more harm than good. What is the DSM, and how can it affect your therapeutic experience?
Negative Reinforcement
Definition of Negative Reinforcement

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