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Horror Movie Fans Are Dealing With The Pandemic Much Better Than Everyone Else, Say Researchers

A new study says horror movie fans are less distressed by the pandemic than everyone else.


A new study says horror movie fans are less emotionally affected by the pandemic than everyone else.

Turns out one way to have avoided having a shit time during the COVID-19 pandemic is to have watched a heap of horror flicks. Yep, new research says those keen on scary movies had an easier time dealing with these last few months than all the rest of us. Wild, right?

The study, published just last week in the psychology journal Personality and Individual Differences, found that fans of horror films showed “less psychological distress” during the pandemic than those who preferred other genres.

“People who engaged more frequently with frightening fictional phenomena, such as horror fans and the morbidly curious, displayed more robust psychological resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the researchers wrote.

The study took place in April when uncertainty about the future was likely at its peak. Researchers questioned 310 participants in the US about the types of movies and TV shows they watched and then about their emotional state during the pandemic. They found that those who were fans of horror and “engaged more frequently with frightening fictional phenomena” reported lower levels of distress during the pandemic.

Head researcher Coltan Scrivner attributed the findings to the fact that people who watch horror movies have developed better coping strategies around dealing with fear. 

“The idea is that they can sort of practise feeling anxious or practise feeling afraid or overcoming that or being okay with that so when something happens in their life that makes them afraid, or makes them anxious, they’re better able to deal with it or have more sort of tools that they're equipped with dealing with it,” Scrivner told CTVNews.ca.

So, the next time you're preparing for a pandemic, consider getting into scary movies. They might just prepare you for the worst.

Main Image Credit: Scary Movie, Wayans Bros. Entertainment

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