For someone who is not into horror movies, it might be perplexing to watch another people subject themselves to a grueling time in a movie theater watching horror movies. Since, most of us usually seek positive emotions, venturing deliberately and paying money to feel such a strong negative emotion might seem counterintuitive. But research into the subject has uncovered interesting psychological processes at work.
Gender Roles in Action
Historically, males in every human civilization, had to show their mettle once they reached adulthood, by performing acts of courage and bravery. Events such as hunting, or fighting, were typical of such rites. Although, such rites of passage have become obsolete, psychologists believe that men’s brains still carry the need to demonstrate their ability to be not perturbed by fearful and horrific things. In other words, men like to derive social gratification by showing off their ability to not let a horror movie bother them. One research has been able to throw interesting light on this behavior. Men enjoyed horror movies, particularly well when they watched them with women, who were frightened by the movie. Also, women enjoyed a horror movie more when they watched it with men who weren’t perturbed by it.
Human brains are wired to stay aware of all threatening situations in their environment. This is the reason why we have an inherent curiosity to stare at violent accidents. Watching such events, although desensitizes people to the horrors of the situation, but it also helps them understand that such events are possible. This, in turn, could induce them to prepare us against the possibility of such events in the future.
Horror To Cope Trauma
Humans are inherently curious about everything. The need to understand things happening around them is what fueled various inventions, discoveries, and innovations. But, when people suffer from trauma, such as witnessing the death of someone they know, some kind of torture, or accidents, or other things of similar nature, then they throw them off completely. People may not understand why a human being can commit such acts, or why such acts exist in the world at all. For such people, horror entertainment can become a way of coping with such trauma. It might even be psychologically relaxing to them once they have come out of the theater, as the movie might fulfill their need to understand something very bizarre that they have witnesses in real life.
Intensification of Emotions
While we understand that the movie is not a real incident unfolding right before us, our brain does not know that. It reacts pretty much the same way as it would to real incidents. People’s heart rate, adrenaline, breathing, and blood pressure, among other things, increases significantly. Our sensory perceptions are heightened and our ability to feel is enhanced. Once we have watched the movie and come out of the theater, we continue to be in this heightened state. If we have a good time with friends, that feeling of having a good time is intensified too. This will translate in our minds as us having a good time while watching a horror movie, and we will return to watch more such movies. If we do not have a good time after the movie, that is intensified as well, and we will avoid such movies in the future. Look into a subscription to one of these Charter Cable Packages for all kinds of scary home entertainment options.