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Simpson Street Free Press

The Scientific Explanation Behind the Enjoyment of Horror Movies

In 2002 the horror film The Ring came out. For some people, this film was too frightening to be fun. Many question why people find enjoyment in scary movies.

Margee Kerr, a sociologist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania focuses on recreational fear; Kerr says that watching horror movies increases activity in the nervous system. Another researcher named Mathies Clasen surveyed more than 250 American horror fans to find out why they enjoyed watching horror films.

Once the responses came back, they revealed that there were three types of fans: the first group was called “Adrenaline Junkies” who said that, “being scared made them feel alive.” The next group was named “White Knucklers”. These people reported negative reactions to scary movies. The last group was the “Dark Copers”, who use horror as a coping mechanism for bad feelings and events that they experienced in real life.

Another study researched 41 female and 40 male college students in Italy by showing them a two-minute clip of scary movies. Women and men had different emotions. Women claimed to have felt distressed, anxious, and jittery feelings while watching the films. Meanwhile, men did not have much of a reaction. Women may look like more scaredy cats than men, but sociologist Kerr thinks differently. He says men might feel more pressure to look tough, which makes them less likely to admit that they are afraid. Scary movies are not for everybody, but if you have never watched one, watch it at your own risk and see if you enjoy it. People that enjoy watching horror movies can become more resilient in life, because they practice negative emotions, according to some researchers.


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