Published Sep 22, 2020A new study suggests that horror fans have been better equipped to process the real-life horrors that plague humanity on a daily basis in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a study from the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society and the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, horror fans have experienced less "psychological distress" as the world has reacted to the spread of COVID-19.
Researchers interviewed 310 participants for the study and determined that people who enjoy horror movies are likely less distressed during the current global pandemic.
"Although most people go into a scary movie with the intention of being entertained rather than learning something, scary stories present ample learning opportunities," the study said. "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 study continued: "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."
That said, if you hate horror movies to begin with, you're probably not going to enjoy them more now that life already contains heightened anxieties.
The study also suggested that people who were fans of "prepper" films were more prepared for the pandemic.
Read the full report here.