Adrenaline junkies and white-knucklers: A quantitative study of fear management in haunted house visitors

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Adrenaline junkies and white-knucklers : A quantitative study of fear management in haunted house visitors. / Clasen, Mathias; Andersen, Marc Malmdorf; Schjødt, Uffe.

In: Poetics, Vol. 73, 2019, p. 61-71.

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@article{645f3a0a8f4f4e3abe4cdc52bc61e7a3,
title = "Adrenaline junkies and white-knucklers: A quantitative study of fear management in haunted house visitors",
abstract = "We investigate approaches to horror entertainment from two common consumer stances: {\textquoteleft}the thrill-seeking stance{\textquoteright} in which adrenaline junkies seek maximal fear arousal and {\textquoteleft}the fear-avoidance stance{\textquoteright} in which so-called white-knucklers seek minimal fear arousal. Visitors of a haunted house attraction (n = 280) were invited to focus on either maximizing or minimizing their fear. Open-ended participant interviews and questionnaire data were used to map how adrenaline junkies and white-knucklers regulate fear, and also how reported fear experience and consumer satisfaction compare across the two groups. A host of antecedent and response-focused strategies, including cognitive, behavioral, and social strategies, were used to up- and down-regulate fear arousal. Notably, the results reveal hitherto uncharted strategies employed by adrenaline junkies to support and maximize their fear experience. Although adrenaline junkies report stronger fear experiences than white-knucklers, consumer satisfaction remains relatively similar across the two groups, indicating that both stances can lead to satisfying consumer experiences. The study thus helps explain the paradoxical appeal of frightening entertainment by illuminating how consumers deliberately up- and down-regulate fear arousal in pursuit of the optimal experience.",
keywords = "ABSORPTION, AGREEMENT, EMOTION REGULATION, EXPERIENCES, Fear management, Fear regulation, HORROR, Haunted attractions, Horror, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, Immersion, RESPONSES, Recreational fear",
author = "Mathias Clasen and Andersen, {Marc Malmdorf} and Uffe Schj{\o}dt",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1016/j.poetic.2019.01.002",
language = "English",
volume = "73",
pages = "61--71",
journal = "Poetics",
issn = "0304-422X",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Adrenaline junkies and white-knucklers

T2 - A quantitative study of fear management in haunted house visitors

AU - Clasen, Mathias

AU - Andersen, Marc Malmdorf

AU - Schjødt, Uffe

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - We investigate approaches to horror entertainment from two common consumer stances: ‘the thrill-seeking stance’ in which adrenaline junkies seek maximal fear arousal and ‘the fear-avoidance stance’ in which so-called white-knucklers seek minimal fear arousal. Visitors of a haunted house attraction (n = 280) were invited to focus on either maximizing or minimizing their fear. Open-ended participant interviews and questionnaire data were used to map how adrenaline junkies and white-knucklers regulate fear, and also how reported fear experience and consumer satisfaction compare across the two groups. A host of antecedent and response-focused strategies, including cognitive, behavioral, and social strategies, were used to up- and down-regulate fear arousal. Notably, the results reveal hitherto uncharted strategies employed by adrenaline junkies to support and maximize their fear experience. Although adrenaline junkies report stronger fear experiences than white-knucklers, consumer satisfaction remains relatively similar across the two groups, indicating that both stances can lead to satisfying consumer experiences. The study thus helps explain the paradoxical appeal of frightening entertainment by illuminating how consumers deliberately up- and down-regulate fear arousal in pursuit of the optimal experience.

AB - We investigate approaches to horror entertainment from two common consumer stances: ‘the thrill-seeking stance’ in which adrenaline junkies seek maximal fear arousal and ‘the fear-avoidance stance’ in which so-called white-knucklers seek minimal fear arousal. Visitors of a haunted house attraction (n = 280) were invited to focus on either maximizing or minimizing their fear. Open-ended participant interviews and questionnaire data were used to map how adrenaline junkies and white-knucklers regulate fear, and also how reported fear experience and consumer satisfaction compare across the two groups. A host of antecedent and response-focused strategies, including cognitive, behavioral, and social strategies, were used to up- and down-regulate fear arousal. Notably, the results reveal hitherto uncharted strategies employed by adrenaline junkies to support and maximize their fear experience. Although adrenaline junkies report stronger fear experiences than white-knucklers, consumer satisfaction remains relatively similar across the two groups, indicating that both stances can lead to satisfying consumer experiences. The study thus helps explain the paradoxical appeal of frightening entertainment by illuminating how consumers deliberately up- and down-regulate fear arousal in pursuit of the optimal experience.

KW - ABSORPTION

KW - AGREEMENT

KW - EMOTION REGULATION

KW - EXPERIENCES

KW - Fear management

KW - Fear regulation

KW - HORROR

KW - Haunted attractions

KW - Horror

KW - INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES

KW - Immersion

KW - RESPONSES

KW - Recreational fear

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85060353226&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.poetic.2019.01.002

DO - 10.1016/j.poetic.2019.01.002

M3 - Journal article

VL - 73

SP - 61

EP - 71

JO - Poetics

JF - Poetics

SN - 0304-422X

ER -