Horror movies helped psychologically to cope with the pandemic COVID-19

People who watch more horror movies and curiosity in regard to such themes as death or violence, may have a greater psychological resistance during an outbreak of coronavirus, according to a new study, a Preprint of which is available on the website PsyArXiv.com.

Rough games, which often children playing, can be important from the point of view of evolution, as they simulate various dangerous situations. Participating in tough games, people and animals can develop and practice the application of cognitive and motor skills necessary to deal with threats in adulthood. Some theorists believe that a similar such games can be the study of the world through fictional stories. For example, in the case of horror movies, people can potentially better prepare for dangerous situations, not only physically, but emotionally.

Scrivner coltan (Coltan Scrivner) from the University of Chicago, along with colleagues decided to find out, does watching horror movies and movies about pandemics psychologically to cope with the epidemic of the coronavirus COVID-19. For this, the researchers asked 310 U.S. residents about what kinds of movies they prefer, and did they ever films about the pandemic. Then, volunteers took personality tests and a questionnaire designed to measure their morbid curiosity: the tendency to search for information about phenomena or events that can cause physical or emotional harm.

Additionally, the respondents rated their psychological readiness for the current epidemic COVID-19, expressing agreement or disagreement with such statements as “I was psychologically prepared for such a pandemic as the pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19),” and also talked about, happen to them good things, despite the crisis.

It turned out that horror lovers were less prone to negative States during the pandemic and experienced less psychological distress (p = 0.006), and fans of paintings about zombies and the Apocalypse in addition to stress also demonstrated a greater willingness to epidemic coronavirus (p = 0,014).

According to Scrivener, it may be due to the fact that viewing scary movies allows you to feel fear and then overcome it. A different pattern was observed among the respondents who were interested in such topics as death and violence: they experienced less stress and were better prepared for the surge of the disease, but more enjoyed the scene with them events. The authors attribute this to the fact that such people frequently seek information and clarification of facts.

Now the authors expect when their study will be a review process to verify the accuracy of the results, as the size of their sample is quite small. However, if the findings are confirmed, the psychologists are going to continue to research and find out what is connected with psychological stability of the fans of horror: that they learn to better regulate emotions, watching such movies, with their original psychological resistance.

Often to describe horror movies use the phrase “chilling”. It turned out that this cliche has a biological basis: when watching horror movies in the blood changes the level of protein responsible for clotting, which increases the likelihood of clot.

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