Queen's University

Friday the 13th

2012-04-17

Queen’s University psychology expert Kate Harkness is able to talk about people’s fear associated with Friday the 13th which takes place this Friday.

Dr. Harkness says people who are terrified of the unlucky day may be displaying obsessive compulsive behaviour.

“Fears and phobias don't have much to do with the Friday the 13th phenomenon. Friday the 13th is associated with bad luck, which is a type of superstition similar to walking under ladders, stepping on cracks, or (on the positive side) keeping a rabbit’s foot for good luck. This normal superstitious behavior is on a continuum with the more severe and debilitating thinking that's present in obsessive compulsive disorder (e.g., if I don't wash my hands 50 times today, something terrible will happen),” says Dr. Harkness, the Director of Clinical Training with the Department of Psychology at Queen’s.

Please note Dr. Harkness is only available on Wednesday (10:30 am-1 pm), Thursday (10:30 am-3 pm) and Friday (9-10:30 am).

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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