Sun, 09 Aug 2020

Study: Horror movie fans better coping with the pandemic

03 Jul 2020, 18:07 GMT+10

PanARMENIAN.Net - Psychologists have found evidence that fans of apocalyptic movies - where global order is upturned - may be more resilient and better prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than the rest, The Guardian reports.

The bleak scenarios thrown up by films such as 'Contagion', from panic buying and isolation to fear of others and fake claims of miracle cures, appeared to help viewers take the outbreak in their stride and work out how best to handle the crisis.

"If it's a good movie, it pulls you in and you take the perspective of the characters, so you are unintentionally rehearsing the scenarios," said Coltan Scrivner, a psychologist who specialises in morbid curiosity at the University of Chicago. "We think people are learning vicariously. It's like, with the exception of the toilet paper shortage, they pretty much knew what to buy."

The researchers questioned 310 volunteers on their movie preferences and viewing histories before asking them how prepared they felt going into the pandemic and what levels of anxiety, depression, irritability and sleepless they had experienced.

Horror movie fans appeared less distressed by the crisis than most, but those who favoured "prepper movies" - where society collapses - ranked as more resilient and better prepared, both mentally and practically.

The finding held when the psychologists controlled for age, sex, how fond people were of movies in general, and personality traits such as neuroticism and conscientiousness.

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