Science: horror fans are dealing with this better then everyone else
We’ve been joking for months now that a lifetime of watching horror movies and reading the books has basically fully prepared us for this, and even if the zombies turn up we’re ready.
Turns out it’s not a joke.
A team from Aarhus University – specifically the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society and the School of Communication and Culture – ran a survey of viewing habits and psychological state, and discovered horror viewers are less stressed.
“One reason that horror use 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.”
“Of course, if someone hates horror movies, it may simply make it worse,” they explained “If emotion regulation skills are what are 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… If this is how it works, the whole point would be for you to learn to accept feeling afraid or anxious, and learn how to overcome that feeling.”
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