Feeling fear while watching a horror movie about a serial killer, for example, chasing one of his victims may be beneficial to health, according to a recent study.
According to researchers at Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania, the effect of terror varies from person to person, but its effect is not bad in general.
And people try to avoid things that make them uncomfortable, said Ramnarin Bodu, a psychiatrist at the Hershey Center. So why do they enjoy things like gruesome horror movies? The reason is what is known as the “paradox of terror”.
Bodo explained that one of the theories that explain the love of many horror films is that it helps in coping, as humans are equipped with deeply ingrained unconscious mechanisms that help them respond to stress, connected from times when danger may be outside.
Bodo indicated in a press release for the center that for a person watching a movie like The Exorcist, he will have activation in the sympathetic nervous system, which can cause an increase in heart rate and breathing, and the viewer may sometimes feel nausea and sweating.
On the other hand, Bodo emphasized that such activation without real danger is fun and popular for adventure enthusiasts such as roller coaster riders.
- Advertisement -
She added, “This may help a person’s ability to deal with stressful situations in real life, and such experiences may provide a kind of exposure therapy, which reduces fear over time,” according to the “UPI” news agency.
“These tactics can be applied to real-life scenarios. It can also be a form of stress relief for some people,” she said.
Bodo warned against taking into account the issue of not exaggerating watching horror films, as it reduces sympathy for humans and increases aggression.