If you love horror movies and scary TV shows, you’ve probably dealt with the coronavirus pandemic better than others.
Moviegoers who enjoy horrific zombie movies and other screams of horror have shown better preparedness for “psychological resilience” to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study.
Coltan Scrivner, a psychologist from University of Chicago, published an open access article in an upcoming issue of the journal ESIC where he explored how films such as “Contagion” may have helped viewers who had watched the film before better prepare for the pandemic, which began in March in the United States. The study determined that horror moviegoers were able to adapt better to strange occasions or behavioral patterns exhibited during the pandemic, such as panic buying, bogus remedies and helping others.
“If it’s a good movie, it draws you in and you take the character point of view, so you inadvertently rehearse the scripts. ” Scrivner told the Guardian. “We think people learn by proxy. It’s as if, except for the toilet paper shortage, they pretty much know what to buy.
The researchers interviewed 310 participants about their viewing experience in motion and their history. They also asked them how they felt as the pandemic approached by measuring their experience of anxiety, depression, irritability and insomnia.
For those who liked horror, they turned out to be less upset by the crisis than the majority of the attendees, but viewers who enjoyed “favorite movies” – where the societal structure collapses or fails – had better preparation. mental and practical.
Scrivner said it’s because viewers have been exposed to it before, so it doesn’t “catch you so off guard.”
Mathias Clasen, a psychologist at Aarhus University in Denmark and co-author of the study, said the films prepare us in ways our imaginations can too.
“Our ability to imaginatively inhabit virtual worlds – worlds of our own making, as well as those conveyed by films and books – is a gift of natural selection; a little bit of biological machinery that evolved because it gave our ancestors an edge in the struggle for survival, ”Clasen said.
“If you’ve watched a lot of what we call favorite movies, you will have vicariously experienced massive social upheaval, states of martial law, people responding in both prosocial and dangerously selfish ways to a sudden catastrophic event.” , he added.