24th November 2020



Are horror movie fans doing better in pandemic? Here’s what a study says

horror movies, watching horror movies in pandemic, horror genre, horror movies and mental health, research, health, indian express news

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

October 2, 2020 7:10:23 pm

It was found that those people who who had a preference for horror had suffered less psychological distress over the past few months. (Source: Pixabay)

This unprecedented global health crisis has been strenuous both mentally and physically for some people. But, a new study seems to suggest that horror movie fans may be doing a tad better, and coping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in a more efficient manner.

According to The Independent, the research was conducted by the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society and the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark.

“Although most people go into a scary movie with the intention of being entertained rather than learning something, scary stories present ample learning opportunities. Fiction allows the audience to explore an imagined version of the world at very little cost. Through fiction, people can learn how to escape dangerous predators, navigate novel social situations, and practice their mind-reading and emotion regulation skills,” the report read.

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The research included a sample size of 310 participants. It was found that those people who had a preference for horror had suffered less psychological distress over the past few months. “One reason that horror may correlate with less psychological distress is that horror fiction allows its audience to practice grappling with negative emotions in a safe setting. Experiencing negative emotions in a safe setting, such as during a horror film, might help individuals hone strategies for dealing with fear and more calmly deal with fear-eliciting situations in real life,” the research suggested.

But, it also warned people who do not follow the horror genre, to not suddenly seek out the scariest of films so as to “boost their coping mechanisms”, because it may just make things worse for them. “If emotion regulation skills are what is being improved and helping people deal with the pandemic, it may also be best to watch movies that are scary to you, not movies that are considered the scariest in general.”

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