Spooky Findings

Now that Halloween is right around the corner it got me to thinking about horror movies and scary things that go along with Halloween. I personally don't like haunted houses or scary movies that much, but so many of my friends love that scary stuff and I was thinking why do they love scary things and why I don't?

Science + Religion Today wrote a great article about why some people are attracted scary movies and other aren't. It explains that as children we are scared of the horror movies and such, but as we get older people start to replace their fear with "scientific explanations" but when we grow up we still have those fears that never fully go away. Watching horror films as an adults lets you tap into those childhood fears from a safe place. Lifestyle has a huge impact on why people are drawn towards horror movies more than others though.

1. Lifestyle- people like to go to scary movies because it's a "safe scary". They can enjoy the fright of it but in two hours they can leave and not be afraid anymore. 

2. Personality- your threat-coping style (repressors vs. sensitizers) tell your mind to either approach/confront or avoid/deny. 

3. Physiology- people different in how they reactive to things. Meaning if you reactive in a "dull, mild, or intense" matter. And that can be hereditary in some cases. The "Thrill-seekers" tend to be people who like to challenge themselves and test their limits. 

4. Age- younger people like more intense "stimulations" (sounds, tastes, and touch) which is why younger people like horror films more than older people. Older people are more timid and vulnerable and don't like the intensity of horror films. 

5. Gender (gender roles)- horror movies are great for dates because when you watch them it's more comforting if you're with someone. It allows girls to scream and cuddle up to their date. And it makes the guy feel strong and like a defender. By doing this it enhances the gender roles of both male and female. 



I personally love scary movies. They're great and are a good source of adrenaline. One of the interesting factors of why people enjoy scary movies is gender. I completely can relate to finding comfort while watching a movie with a guy, but then I began to wonder what causes girls to be more afraid and look to men for protection during a movie? This study shows that women are more afraid of scary movies because of our ability to "anticipate the scary scenes that may lie ahead". Basically, because we are more likely to guess what is going to happen next, our brains are signaled to be afraid sooner, while men wait for action to take place.

I hate scary movies and anything else like that. I tried to get into it but I just can't. I always get told oh just get over it its all fake you'll be fine but just knowing I'm going into a movie and I'm going to be scared but not know what is going to scare me gives me so much anxiety I can't handle it. A study done by a professor at Purdue University actually proved that as much as we tell ourselves that what we are witnessing is fake our brains still processing what we se as if it were real. Thus, while we watch our heartbeat increases, our palms sweat, and our blood pressure even rises! So when you try to convince your scared friend to come to the movies with you by saying its fake try using a different argument because fake or not its scary nonetheless!

More info about that study I mentioned can be found here, http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/why-we-love-scary-movies?page=2

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