Horror, Personality, and Threat Simulation: A Survey on the Psychology of Scary Media

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Horror, Personality, and Threat Simulation : A Survey on the Psychology of Scary Media. / Clasen, Mathias; Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, Jens; Johnson, John A.

I: Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, Bind 14, Nr. 3, 07.2020, s. 213-230.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Clasen, Mathias ; Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, Jens ; Johnson, John A. / Horror, Personality, and Threat Simulation : A Survey on the Psychology of Scary Media. I: Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. 2020 ; Bind 14, Nr. 3. s. 213-230.

Bibtex

@article{86bb3f4e5ca54ffb873dd8c0f8028890,
title = "Horror, Personality, and Threat Simulation: A Survey on the Psychology of Scary Media",
abstract = "Horror entertainment is a thriving and paradoxical industry. Who are the consumers of horror, and why do they seek out frightening media? We provide support for the threat simulation theory of horror, according to which horror media provides a form of benign masochism that offers negative emotional stimulation through simulation of threat scenarios. Through an online survey of genre use and preference as well as personality traits and paranormal beliefs (n=1070), we find that sensation seeking and the fifth of the Big-Five factors, intellect/imagination, predict liking of horror and frequency of use. Gender, educational level, and age are also correlated with horror liking and frequency of use (males show higher liking and more frequent use, whereas liking and use frequency are negatively correlated with educational level and age). People with stronger beliefs in the paranormal tend to seek out horror media with supernatural content, whereas those with weaker beliefs in the paranormal gravitate toward horror media with natural content, suggesting that people seek out horror media with threatening stimuli that they perceive to be plausible. While frightening media may be initially aversive, people high in sensation seeking and intellect/imagination, in particular, like intellectual stimulation and challenge and expect not just negative but also positive emotions from horror consumption. They brave the initially aversive response to simulate threats and so enter a positive feedback loop by which they attain adaptive mastery through coping with virtual simulated danger.",
keywords = "Benign masochism, Big Five personality traits, Horror media, Media psychology, Sensation seeking",
author = "Mathias Clasen and Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen and Johnson, {John A.}",
year = "2020",
month = jul,
doi = "10.1037/ebs0000152",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "213--230",
journal = "Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences",
issn = "2330-2925",
publisher = "NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Horror, Personality, and Threat Simulation

T2 - A Survey on the Psychology of Scary Media

AU - Clasen, Mathias

AU - Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, Jens

AU - Johnson, John A.

PY - 2020/7

Y1 - 2020/7

N2 - Horror entertainment is a thriving and paradoxical industry. Who are the consumers of horror, and why do they seek out frightening media? We provide support for the threat simulation theory of horror, according to which horror media provides a form of benign masochism that offers negative emotional stimulation through simulation of threat scenarios. Through an online survey of genre use and preference as well as personality traits and paranormal beliefs (n=1070), we find that sensation seeking and the fifth of the Big-Five factors, intellect/imagination, predict liking of horror and frequency of use. Gender, educational level, and age are also correlated with horror liking and frequency of use (males show higher liking and more frequent use, whereas liking and use frequency are negatively correlated with educational level and age). People with stronger beliefs in the paranormal tend to seek out horror media with supernatural content, whereas those with weaker beliefs in the paranormal gravitate toward horror media with natural content, suggesting that people seek out horror media with threatening stimuli that they perceive to be plausible. While frightening media may be initially aversive, people high in sensation seeking and intellect/imagination, in particular, like intellectual stimulation and challenge and expect not just negative but also positive emotions from horror consumption. They brave the initially aversive response to simulate threats and so enter a positive feedback loop by which they attain adaptive mastery through coping with virtual simulated danger.

AB - Horror entertainment is a thriving and paradoxical industry. Who are the consumers of horror, and why do they seek out frightening media? We provide support for the threat simulation theory of horror, according to which horror media provides a form of benign masochism that offers negative emotional stimulation through simulation of threat scenarios. Through an online survey of genre use and preference as well as personality traits and paranormal beliefs (n=1070), we find that sensation seeking and the fifth of the Big-Five factors, intellect/imagination, predict liking of horror and frequency of use. Gender, educational level, and age are also correlated with horror liking and frequency of use (males show higher liking and more frequent use, whereas liking and use frequency are negatively correlated with educational level and age). People with stronger beliefs in the paranormal tend to seek out horror media with supernatural content, whereas those with weaker beliefs in the paranormal gravitate toward horror media with natural content, suggesting that people seek out horror media with threatening stimuli that they perceive to be plausible. While frightening media may be initially aversive, people high in sensation seeking and intellect/imagination, in particular, like intellectual stimulation and challenge and expect not just negative but also positive emotions from horror consumption. They brave the initially aversive response to simulate threats and so enter a positive feedback loop by which they attain adaptive mastery through coping with virtual simulated danger.

KW - Benign masochism

KW - Big Five personality traits

KW - Horror media

KW - Media psychology

KW - Sensation seeking

U2 - 10.1037/ebs0000152

DO - 10.1037/ebs0000152

M3 - Journal article

VL - 14

SP - 213

EP - 230

JO - Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences

JF - Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences

SN - 2330-2925

IS - 3

ER -