Mount Union students will ride Cedar Point's roller coasters to combat phobias

Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:37 AM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Students in Dr. Kevin Meyer's Abnormal Psychology course at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, will be able to take their study of phobias to a whole new level. In this case, up to 42 stories above the ground.

On Sunday, Oct. 23, more than a dozen of Meyer's students will visit Cedar Point to participate in the Face Your Fear Project. During the day, students, who have a professed fear of roller coasters, will have the opportunity to challenge the Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort's roller coasters, including the 420-foot-tall Top Thrill Dragster.

This is the second year in a row the Abnormal Psychology class has visited the park. Last year, 12 students participated and all of them rode at least one coaster. Eight even rode Dragster.

"I was extremely pleased with last year's results," Dr. Meyer said. "In terms of individual goals, each student succeeded. It will be interesting to see if we can replicate last year's success."

This year's project will have 15 students. For some, the challenge is to brave Top Thrill Dragster while for others Millennium Force is the goal. A few others' phobia is being upside down in a roller coaster. One of the students participating has never visited the park and has never been on a roller coaster.

"The class is a real-life example of a treatment called exposure therapy that allows individuals to have gradual exposure to the target of their fear, in this case, roller coasters," Dr. Meyer said. "The park's vast collection of coasters is ideal for this type of approach since it offers mild, moderate and thrilling coasters of nearly every kind."

Read the entire press release on PR Newswire.

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